When Truth Is All You Have
A Memoir of Faith, Justice, and Freedom for the Wrongly Convicted
“A riveting and infuriating examination of criminal prosecutions, revealing how easy it is to convict the wrong person and how nearly impossible it is to undo the error.” —Washington Post
"No one has illuminated this problem more thoughtfully and persistently." —Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy
Jim McCloskey was at a midlife crossroads when he met the man who would change his life. A former management consultant, McCloskey had grown disenchanted with the business world; he enrolled at Princeton Theological Seminary at the age of 37. His first assignment, in 1980, was as a chaplain at Trenton State Prison. Among the inmates was Jorge de los Santos, a heroin addict who'd been convicted of murder years earlier. He swore to McCloskey that he was innocent—and, over time, McCloskey came to believe him. With no legal or investigative training to speak of, McCloskey threw himself into the case. Two years later, thanks to those efforts, Jorge de los Santos walked free, fully exonerated.
McCloskey had found his calling. He established Centurion Ministries, the first group in America devoted to overturning wrongful convictions. Together with his staff and a team of forensic experts, lawyers, and volunteers—through tireless investigation and an unflagging dedication to justice—Centurion has freed 65 innocent prisoners who had been sentenced to life or death.
When Truth Is All You Have is McCloskey's inspirational story, as well as those of the unjustly imprisoned for whom he has fought. Spanning the nation, it is a chronicle of faith and doubt; of triumphant success and shattering failure. It candidly exposes a life of searching and struggle, uplifted by McCloskey's certainty that he had found what he was put on earth to do.
Filled with generosity, humor, and compassion, it is the soul-bearing account of a man who has redeemed innumerable lives—and incited a movement—with nothing more than his unshakeable belief in the truth.