“I DIDN’T DO IT”: Centurion Founder Jim McCloskey (left) stands with The Savannah Three — from left, Kenneth Gardiner, Dominic Lucci, and Mark Jones — last year when they were finally freed after 26 years in prison on a wrongful conviction. At a family gathering on Saturday, May 11, Centurion celebrated the 63 men and women it has freed from death row or life sentences. (Photo courtesy of Centurion)
By Donald Gilpin
Centurion, a Princeton-based organization working to exonerate innocent individuals in prison, celebrated the 63 men and women it has freed from death row or life sentences at a family gathering at The Westin in Princeton Forrestal Village last Saturday, May 11.
Founded in 1983, Centurion was the first institution in the world dedicated to the vindication of the wrongly convicted. Staff, volunteers, attorneys, families, and friends joined to honor and listen to several exonorees and their lawyers tell their tales of imprisonment, survival, and freedom.
“Buckle up. Here we go,” said Centurion Executive Director Kate Germond, as she welcomed the gathering of 150 and introduced the speakers who would be telling their stories.
Germond described the celebration as “the culmination of Family Gathering weekend, our annual tradition when we bring our exonerees together for a few days of healing, support, and, of course, celebration. Our entire family of exonerees is renewed and bolstered by time spent with the only other people who understand what they’ve been through — each other.” more