Centurion Justice for The Innocent & Imprisoned
Speaker: Paul Casteleiro, Legal Director, Centurion
The science of DNA has been of immense help in freeing the innocent from prison. However, despite the numbers of exonerations achieved utilizing DNA evidence, most claims of innocence do not have a scientific element available that would be probative of innocence. There are countless numbers of innocent men and women in prison whose cases require a complete field investigation and expert post-conviction legal assistance to help them obtain their rightful freedom. That’s where Centurion steps in. Centurion is a secular, national non-profit organization dedicated to the vindication of the wrongly convicted. Since 1983, Centurion has freed 63 men and women who were serving life or death sentences for crimes they did not commit. That’s over 1,200 years of life lost. They take on the hard cases, the ones others leave behind. Centurion re-investigates the crime, uncovering lost evidence, finding new evidence, convincing a coerced witness to come forward with the truth, overturning false confessions, and sometimes even finding the real criminal. Paul will share updates about Centurion’s ongoing fight for justice for the wrongfully incarcerated.
Paul Casteleiro is the legal director for Centurion, the oldest exoneration nonprofit organization in the nation. He has been the primary attorney in 18 exonerations of people serving life in prison and currently has pending cases in state and federal courts in Michigan, Missouri, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. In addition to winning many exonerations, Paul has been a trailblazer in criminal justice reform. A leader in exposing false confessions, he obtained the first ever published opinion in New York State that admitted expert testimony on the psychology of police interrogations and false confessions. His other achievements include proposing New Jersey’s law to compensate wrongfully imprisoned people; overturning the Supreme Court of New Jersey’s law admitting hypnotically enhanced testimony in criminal trials; establishing the unreliability of the F.B.I.’s bullet lead composition analysis, which led the FBI to stop offering such testimony.
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