Charles Crow III ’72 will deliver the 2019 Leslie G. Rude Memorial Lecture on Wednesday, April 10, at 7:30 p.m. in Anderson Center for the Arts Theatre on the Hartwick College campus. His presentation, “Justice, Philanthropy, and Luck: Fighting to Free ‘The Convicted Innocent,’” is free and open to the public.

Crow will share insights and anecdotes from his volunteer service on the Board of Directors of for Centurion Ministries, Inc., the nation’s first innocence project. He is also founding partner at Crow & Cushing, a Princeton, NJ-based law firm representing individuals and entities concerned with physical commodity products for consumption or investment. He provides legal representation to multinational firms, including those in metals and energy.  Crow received his J.D. from Seton Hall University.

Hartwick College Board of Trustees Chairman Francis D. Landrey P’06 will participate as a respondent to Crow’s presentation, a first for the lecture series.  Landrey is an experienced litigator in state and federal courts, and his practice has covered numerous areas, including insurance coverage disputes, SEC regulatory proceedings, and anti-trust litigation. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University, and later graduated from Boston University School of Law.

In January, 2017, Landrey presented a lecture at Hartwick titled “Race, Justice and the Death Penalty: A Martin Luther King Day Commemoration.” Landrey — senior counsel at Proskauer, an international law firm in New York City — discussed issues of historical and contemporary racial bias and its impact on the criminal justice system. He drew on his own experience in representing JB Parker, a black man on death row convicted of first-degree murder in connection with the abduction and shooting of a young white woman in Florida.

Crow, his wife, Lynn ’72, and Landrey will also meet with students and join classes throughout the day, which culminates with a pre-lecture dinner with Hartwck College President Margaret L. Drugovich, select faculty, and students interested in criminal justice.
Crow was drawn to the work of Centurion Ministries, he said, because of his sense that while the United States has the fairest legal system in the world, it is run by human beings and therefore less than perfect.

“Where our system has made mistakes, I firmly believe it is incumbent on everyone, particularly those connected with the judicial system, whether, lawyer, judge, prosecutor or law student, to see that those mistakes are not allowed to go uncorrected and without remedy,” he said.

“The exoneration of the innocent is a timeless, humanitarian issue,” said Hartwick College President Margaret L. Drugovich. “This work requires the cooperation of all parties in the justice system: victims, the convicted, law enforcement, and the judiciary. At this time in U.S. history, it also requires the intervention of non-profit organizations and volunteers like Messrs. Crow and Landrey. This will be a thought provoking conversation, one that Lesley Rude would have considered worthy of our collective consideration.”