Frequently Asked Questions

  • How is CM the same/different than an Innocence Project?

    The name Innocence Project  (IP) has come to mean those law school pro bono clinics working with the New York Innocence Project. On the whole they work on wrongful convictions that rely on DNA results to prove innocence.

    Similarly, Centurion works on wrongful convictions; however, in addition to handling DNA cases, Centurion also does field investigation cases (cases wherein DNA does not play a role). Centurion does not charge for any aspect of the case. We will consider a case in any  state of the U.S. as well as Canada. Centurion also keeps up with its clients after freedom. See also About Us.

  • How do I submit a case for consideration?

    Click here to review how to submit a case.

  • What was CM’s first case?

    Jorge De Los Santos was convicted in 1975 for murder. Along with attorney Paul Casteleiro, Jim McCloskey successfully had this conviction overturned July 1983. This case resulted in the establishment of Centurion Ministries, Inc.

  • How can I contact you about a case?

    All case inquiries must come in the form of a letter so that we may carefully review and answer them in a complete and efficient manner. Be sure to write legibly and include a full return address and allow 8 to 10 weeks for our reply. We read and respond to all letters. Click here to review how to submit a case.

  • How do you decide to take on a case?

    Centurion generally takes on 1-2 new cases every year. Our staff makes an extensive review of the entire facts of the case and where warranted, the case is deemed a prospective case. When time, money and other necessary resources become available to allow us to take on a new case, the task of choosing is difficult. Factors such as location, belief in actual innocence, and character of the person we’d be fighting for go into the final decision to take on a case. Also see our ABOUT US page.

  • What types of cases do you work on?

    While we primarily consider murder and rape cases, we will consider other cases of factual innocence which carry a life or death sentence. Also see our ABOUT US page.

  • What types of cases do you not work on?

    We do not consider accidental death or self defense murder cases. We do not consider he said / she said rape cases. Typically we do not consider child abuse or child sex cases unless there is physical evidence. The NCADRC  is a possible resource for this type of conviction.

    Also see our ABOUT US page.

  • Can you refer me to an attorney or investigator?

    It is our normal practice not to make referrals to attorneys or investigators.

  • Who else can help me?

    Click here to review the other innocence projects nationwide.

  • Why must the inmate write directly to CM?

    We have found that dealing directly with the inmate produces the best results. Friends and family are welcome to assist when requested, but the inmate is expected to do the lion’s share of the work with respect to supplying case information. Additionally, our staff is small and we are not equipped to handle a large volume of phone calls; therefore inmates should not call us unless we specifically request it.

  • Can the inmate call you about his/her case? Can friends or family call you to discuss a case?

    In the kindest way possible: No

    Our office is not designed to handle huge volumes of phone calls or email; therefore, ALL case inquiries must come in the form of a letter from the inmate  so that we may carefully review them and answer them in a complete and efficient manner. Write legibly and include a full return address. Allow 6 to 8 weeks for our reply. We will read and respond to all letters.

    Click here to review how to submit a case.

  • Why should I not send documents unsolicited?

    Our office is only so big! We can’t accommodate materials that we may not find pertinent to a case.

  • How much do CM’s services cost?

    Centurion does not charge for any of our services.

  • What do you suggest I read?

    There’s no limit to the books, studies, and essays one should seek out in order to understand wrongful convictions. New information is coming out all the time; however, we do have a few books we’d suggest you consider: Click here to view a short list of suggested reading.

  • What cases are you working on?

    Click here to review our cases in judicial review.

  • How many successes have you had?

    We’ve had many! Click here to review our cases page. Jim McCloskey started the first case in 1980 – Jorge De Los Santos.

  • How long has CM been working on behalf of the wrongly convicted?

    Centurion was incorporated in 1983 after the exoneration of Jorge De Los Santos.

  • Why do you call the organization “Centurion Ministries”?

    Centurion is a ministry to exonerate and free the wrongly convicted. Centurion Ministries is named after the Roman Centurion soldier who stood at the foot of the cross and proclaimed, “Surely this one is innocent”. Luke 23:47 RSV.

  • Is Centurion a religious organization or a church?

    No. Although Jim McCloskey founded Centurion out of a spiritual calling, Centurion has never been a religious organization. It is of no interest to Centurion if anyone associated with Centurion has a particular faith or any such inclination at all.

  • Why is the work of Centurion needed?

    Our justice system is an adversarial system and is designed to convict the guilty and acquit the innocent. It is not designed to fix a wrongful conviction, thus overturning a conviction is twice as hard as convicting someone. The conviction of an innocent person can happen for a variety of reasons: blind focus by police, misidentification, poor police investigation, prosecutorial misconduct, and fraudulent forensic experts to just list a few. While advances are being made to avoid convicting the wrong person, many people will remain wrongly imprisoned unless new evidence is found that could overturn their conviction. It is Centurion’s mission to seek out those factually innocent and work to free them.  Your generous donation is greatly appreciated.

  • How does my donation help Centurion?

    The cost of reinvestigation, forensic testing, and litigation can range between $100,000 and $800,000. Your donation allows us to free an innocent person at no cost to the person or his/her family. Your gift brings freedom. Thank you!

  • Have you ever gotten out someone who was guilty?

    No. When our investigation causes us to lose confidence in the factual innocence of a client, we immediately drop the case.

  • Do any of your investigations determine that the inmate really is "guilty"?

    Yes. Centurion was wrong about the innocence of Roger Keith Coleman and five other cases in our history.

  • Can I volunteer with Centurion?

    The backbone of Centurion is our volunteer staff. We simply could not digest the volume of requests we get without their help. If you are interested in volunteering as a Case Developer, please email your resume and cover letter stating why you’d like to work for the wrongfully convicted to Janet@centurion.org and put “volunteer” in the subject heading.

  • How can I become a summer intern?

    We offer one or two summer internships for college level or law school students.

    If you are interested in securing an unpaid internship with Centurion as a Case Developer for the upcoming summer, please email your resume and cover letter stating why you’d like to work with us to Janet@centurion.org  and put “internship” in the subject heading.  This is a two days per week position.

    PLEASE NOTE:  all volunteer work must be done in our Princeton, NJ office.

  • Is Centurion affiliated with Princeton University?

    No, Centurion is not associated with a college or university.


The average cost to free an innocent person is $350,000.Donate Now