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Newsletter 15 - Nov 2019

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One LIFE This fall a group of dedicated volunteers in our hometown of Princeton NJ came together to support a very special event One Night One Life photos from the evening are inside The event s title had a big impact on many of us especially the one life part It made us think about what it really means to give one innocent person their life back after they ve spent decades in prison wrongfully convicted For Centurion it means bringing someone new into our family Once we free someone we make a commitment to help and support them to the best of our ability for the rest of their lives We provide nancial assistance connect them to services and offer mentorship from other more mature exonerees to help them navigate their new worlds We become the family members that so many have lost during their years of wrongful incarceration Supporting a person we ve freed as they rebuild their life has ripple effects that span far beyond ensuring that one individual s needs are met Many of our exonerees have gone on to use their talents to create hope and transformation for others in need You only need to look at a few examples to understand how one person one life can impact so many Darryl Burton founded Miracle of Innocence to help exonerate innocent people in Missouri and Kansas and help the exonerated live a successful life Walter Lomax founded the Maryland Restorative Justice Initiative to advocate for humane and sensible criminal justice and sentencing reform in Maryland Richard Miles used his compensation to start Miles of Freedom a nonpro t that provides parolees with a comprehensive set of services such as nding jobs learning the skills needed to make good decisions to become successful and helping them reconnect with their families Richard is a CNN Hero Frank O Connell is giving back by touring the country to raise awareness about the epidemic of wrongful convictions while also helping exonerees obtain vehicles Mark Schand has opened a smoothie shop where he intends to hire parolees he remembers how hard it was to obtain employment after having been incarcerated and wants to make it easier for others to make a living when they get out He has a vision of someday having a chain of shops with this same philosophy It costs an average of 350 000 to free one innocent person from prison We believe every dollar spent is worth it to free an innocent person And as you can see these are remarkable people making a diffrence after they got their lives back centurion seeking freedom for the innocent in prison november 2019 issue fteen

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A note from our Executive Director A note from our Executive Director Old Friends New Friends and Family This is the season that brings us together In my case it is also a season to re ect I think back to the gifts Centurion has received this past year almost complete freedom for Shawn Henning and Ricky Birch a real wedding for Mark and Mia Schand a joyful Family Gathering the release of John Grisham s book based on Centurion and Jim McCloskey the new cases we ve taken on and the petitions led with the hope of freedom for an incarcerated innocent person I am grateful This is also a season to remember those innocent people who are still wrongfully incarcerated I think of all of those whose cases we have worked up and believe in but don t have resources to take on I re ect on the lives of the men and women who we have freed some of whom rely on us as their sole source of support as they navigate the free world There is still so much work to be done You drive us to do better as our partners in this work Amidst the ups and downs and the long pauses between victories your support serves as our encouragement You really cannot imagine the lift we receive with your gifts your kind notes and your many likes on social media We know that there are countless worthy organizations out there that you could support and you chose us We are grateful for your support and we need your continued alliance From our family to yours we wish you a healthy and happy 2020 In gratitude Kate Germond Executive Director Dedicated To James M c Closkey The Exononerator Excerpt from the author s note James McCloskey founded Centurion Ministries in 1980 while he was a divinity student Working as a prison chaplin he met an inmate who insisted that he was innocent Jim eventually came to believe him and went to work to prove his innocence His exoneration inspired Jim to take another case and then another For almost forty years Jim has traveled the country usually alone digging for lost clues and elusive witnesses and searching for the truth To date sixty three men and women owe their freedom to Jim and the dedicated team at Centurion Their website tells much of their story Take a look and if you have a few spare bucks send them a check More money equals more innocent people exonerated John Grisham

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Volunteer Spotlight Kathy Vik In early 2018 Kathy Vik joined the Centurion family when she signed on to help organize our annual fall fundraiser in Princeton NJ Shortly afterward she sought other ways she might help and so we gave her the formidable project of re writing case pro les for our website At the time Centurion s website had a pro le of every freed client s case but they were inconsistent and too often contained factual errors With tremendous attention to detail and a commitment to ensuring that every one of our client s stories is well told Kathy reviews case les appeal documents and court decisions to re craft case pro les to help educate site visitors about the factors that contribute to wrongful convictions It continues to be a work in progress We took note of Kathy s great work and she was assigned a case to develop She somehow managed to come up with enough time to co chair our most recent fundraiser One Night One Life Together with Cheryl Mooney they led the most successful Centurion fundraiser to date Her suggestions and ideas are thoughtful and strategic and she helps us identify ways to better engage our supporters and reach new audiences As a result of Kathy s dedication to Centurion and her efforts to shine a light on the crisis of innocent people in prison she was unanimously voted onto Centurion s Board of Directors in October We are thrilled and so lucky to welcome Kathy Vik to the Board Why we give We began supporting Centurion after a small get together at a friend s house where we met exonerees and heard their stories It was impossible not to be angry about the incredible injustice these good people endured and amazing to see no anger or bitterness after decades in prison for other people s crimes Since that rst introduction we have come to wholeheartedly believe in and support Centurion s mission freeing the wrongfully convicted We lived overseas for over a decade and every day appreciated more the attributes of our system of government including its legal system But we now appreciate the aws of a system that allows such miscarriages of justice and the enormous consequence for individuals families and our communities For every wrongfully convicted person in prison a guilty person walks the street We support Centurion because as a society we must be better than that and we support Centurion because we have been inspired by its noble efforts and the exemplary exonorees we are now proud to call our friends Cheryl Rob Mooney

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Clockwise from the top Peter Pringle Executive Director Kate Germond Sunny Jacobs Judy Scheide Preston Breunig Michael Austin James Waller Peter and Anne O Neill Ross and Leslie Wishnick Princeton Councilman Dwaine Williamson Richard Miles Sandra Allen Ann Fries Kathy Vik Michael Austin James Waller Cheryl Mooney Shelly Yedlin Laura Sinderbrand Tom and Jackie Gibbons center Tom Marx and Liz Zuckerman

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One Night One life Princeton NJ September 28 2019 Clockwise from the top Committee chairs Cheryl Mooney and Kathy Vik with exonerees and Executive Director Kate Germond Cheryl Mooney Frank O Connell Kathy Vik Joyce Carol Oates Ed Baker Ricky Kidd Darryl Burton Founder Jim McCloskey Bill and Carol Burden Ed Baker Ralph Lee Tyler Spikes Michael Austin Martha Sword Jennifer Hilton center Daniel and Tina Motto

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Announcing a new Executive Director for Centurion On January 1 2020 Corey Waldron will take on the role of Executive Director for Centurion Corey has been working with us since June of 2018 as Deputy Executive Director and Development Director The Board unanimously endorsed her to transition to Executive Director in January Corey s entire career has been spent working in nonpro t management and fundraising those skills combined with her great affection for our clients and exonerees make her the perfect person to take the reins Kate Germond will remain on the Centurion team continuing her work in Case Development and partnering with Corey to carry Centurion s legacy into the future Corey is from the Princeton area where she lives with her adorable 4 year old and very patient spouse Become a monthly donor Monthly gifts create sustainable funding throughout the year donate online centurion org donate Milton Scarborough March 1 1940 September 7 2019 We lost our sweet Milton Scarborough in September after being free for 6 short years He suffered a massive stroke that took him from us Milton spent 36 years in prison as an innocent man convicted of a vile murder We were never able to get him exonerated because of Pennsylvania s cynical 60 Day Rule a person only gets 60 days to get back into court with new evidence which is a virtual impossibility in innocence cases We were able to present enough evidence to get a prosecutor to free him if we did not pursue futher litigation Milton s case was investigated primarily by Bill Raynor a retired GE executive He poured his heart into the investigation And once Milton was freed Bill continued to support him and Milton s niece Bobbie Hostetler who provided a stable and warm home for him We all loved to get calls from Milton his joy about life was contagious He will be deeply missed especially at our Family Gatherings

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27 years Mark and Mia Schand renewed their vows in front of family and friends at the wedding they ve always deserved When Mark was arrested and wrongly convicted he and Mia were building a family Mia was pregnant with Mark s third child and they never could have imagined that Mark would spend the next 27 years behind bars for a crime he didn t commit But they never gave up on each other Mia visited Mark EVERY week for 27 years and they were married in a jailhouse ceremony Sunday October 27th they had a gorgeous wedding ceremony in New York City a celebration t for the enduring love they ve always shared E V E RY D AY P E O P L E C H A N G I N G T H E W O R L D Centurion exoneree Richard Miles has been selected as one of ten nalists to become CNN s 2019 Hero of the Year Richard spent 15 years in prison for a murder he did not commit Upon his release he established Miles of Freedom a nonpro t dedicated to helping formerly incarcerated individuals restart their lives Miles of Freedom assists individuals returning home from prison by helping them obtain identi cation enroll in college and secure housing They also provide computer and career training nancial literacy programs and job placement CNN s acknowledgement of Richard s impactful work is much deserved and we are so proud of him

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The Spring Valley Branch of the NAACP awarded Centurion Legal Director Paul Casteleiro the Dr Edmund W Gordon Heroes of Humanity Award for his pioneering work as an attorney for the innocent in prison and a trailblazer in criminal justice reform Paul s steadfast devotion to righting judicial wrongs is unmatched by anyone Hero Ralph Lee Paterson NJ 25 years wrongly convicted with Paul Casteleiro congratul ations Paul Casteleiro 1000 Herrontown Road Princeton NJ 08540 7716 centurion org Centurion Staff Kathy Babcock George Carcagno Molly Chrein Elizabeth Doverman Lori Freedman Ann Fries Lee Gidding Marilyn Jerry Carol Kientz Fidelis Machado Alan Medvin Jane McBunch Jock McFarlane Sue Miller Centurion Volunteers Michael Regan Sue Schmerler Hannah Shostack Laura Sinderbrand Trish Traverse Kathy Vik Laila Wilson Manager of Organizational Initiatives and Planning Kimberly Weston Esq Case Development Manager Corey Waldron Chief Development Officer Deputy Executive Director Gene Truncellito Esq Case Development Manager Tyler Spikes Exoneree Support Madison McCoy Administrative Support Alan Maimon Case Investigator Rosemary Kay Bookkeeper Jim Cousins Esq Attorney Case Investigator Diane Bladecki Director of Events and Outreach Janet Baxendale Paralegal Intake Analyst and Volunteer Development Priyanka Banerjee Communications Associate Paul Casteleiro Esq Legal Director Kate Germond Executive Director Ken Javerbaum Esq Jim McCloskey Founder Ed Pisani Stephen Pollard Kathy Vik Centurion Board of Directors Rob Mooney Chairman Rob Connor PhD Charlie Crow Esq Mary Catherine Cuff Esq Jozelyn Davis PhD Kate Germond Executive Director Contact Us send