UM Carey Law Students Perform (IN) JUSTCE for Michael Austin
What is it like to be wrongfully sentenced to life without parole for a murder you didn't commit?
Watch this video of an original play that explores that question.
(IN)JUSTICE for Michael Austin chronicles the life, wrongful imprisonment and eventual pardon of Baltimore City resident Michael Austin. Based on court transcripts and interviews with the principals, the play was written and performed by 15 UM Carey Law students as part of their course work for Lawyers, Legal Systems and Their Social Context. It was recently featured in the National Law Journal.
Austin was arrested and wrongfully convicted of murdering a worker at the Crown Food market on Baltimore’s East Preston Street in 1974.
While in prison he reached out to Centurion Ministries, a Princeton organization that took up his case. With the help of lawyer Larry Nathans, investigator Stephen Delaney, former mayor Kurt Schmoke and The Baltimore Sun, Austin was released in 2001, 27 years after being imprisoned. Two years later, Governor Robert Ehrlich Jr. granted him a full pardon and the state awarded him $1.4 million dollars in restitution.
The students were guided by Austin and Adjunct Professors Robert Bowie Jr, ’77 and Elliott Rauh, managing director of Single Carrot Theatre. The production includes a musical performance by Austin, who taught himself to play the trumpet and then organized and led a jazz band, all while in prison.
Austin is now an entrepreneur, recording artist and founder of In This Together Development Inc. whose mission is to develop people, programs and resources that cater to underserved populations of young people in Baltimore.
Robert Bowie Jr ‘77 is founding partner of Bowie & Jensen LLC, a poet and an accomplished playwright.
Elliott Rauh is a founding ensemble member and managing director of Single Carrot Theatre, recognized by City Paper as Baltimore’s Best Local Theatre Company in 2011.