When Truth Is All You Have: Memoir of Faith, Justice, and Freedom for the Wrongly Convicted

Doubleday. Jul. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9780385545037. $26.96. BIOG
Assigned to work as a chaplain in a state prison while enrolled at Princeton Theological Seminary, former management consultant McCloskey met a man convicted of murder, whom he came to believe was innocent. This encounter led him to form Centurion Ministries, the first organization in the United States working to overturn wrongful convictions. With cowriter Lerman (Dadditude), the author shares the stories of some of the 63 men and women from across the United States whom his organization, along with a team of forensic experts, lawyers, and volunteers, helped exonerate and free from prison. McCloskey’s main objective is not only to bring these stories to light but also to discuss the failures of the criminal justice system that he has personally witnessed. He also shares his struggles and meaningfully expresses how his faith has been tested and strengthened through his work. Though generally broaching serious subjects, the writers are able to bring levity at appropriate moments, reflecting McCloskey’s overall philosophy of hope.
VERDICT McCloskey and Lerman’s natural storytelling style make this an enjoyable read even when addressing tough subjects. This will be essential for collections focused on social justice, the wrongly convicted, and spiritual transformation.

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