Wrongly Convicted Database Record


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Michael Austin



Murder and Robbery


Life Imprisonment

Years Imprisoned:


Year Crime:


Year Convicted:


Year Cleared:


U.S. State or Country of Crime:


County or Region of Crime:


City of Crime:



Judicially Exonerated Released

Summary of Case:

"Michael Austin was erroneously identified at trial as the murderer of a grocery store security guard by a store clerk later discredited, and who confessed to his brother that he sent an innocent man to prison. Another eyewitness, the store asst. mgr., wasn't called to testify at trial, although he described the assailant to the police after the shooting as a light skinned black with a slight build weighing 150-160#, while the muscular Austin is 6-5, weighs over 200# and is dark skinned. Also, M. Austin couldn't have committed the murder because he clocked out of his factory job at 4:53 pm., 27 minutes before the murder and given his distance from the store and the time of dayhe was, it was physically impossible for him to have been at the store. Released on January 3, 2002, Balt. Cir Ct Judge John Byrnes wrote in his opinion reversing his conviction: "Michael Austin as an accused was wronged, and no matter the age of the wrong, it remains wrong. Our capacity to right a wrong is a measurement of our true commitment to due process and justice as a State." (CM website). Pardoned by Maryland's governor in 2003. Awarded $1.4 million in compensation by the State of Maryland in 2004."

Conviction Caused By:

"Erroneous eyewitness testimony, and prosecutorial misconduct of concealing exculpatory evidence and grossly incompent defense lawyering. "

Innocence Proved By:

Overwhelming evidence Michael Austin did not commit the murder.

Defendant Aided By:

Centurion Ministries

Compensation Awarded:

"$1.4 million (State of Maryland, Nov. 2004)"

Was Perpetrator Identified?

Age When Imprisoned:


Age When Released:





Information Source 1:

""After 27 Years, Justice Overdue," The Baltimore Sun, March 18, 2001."

Information Location 1:


Information Source 2:

""After 27 Years in Prison, Austin Released on Bail," The Baltimore Sun, Dec. 29, 2001."

Information Location 2:


Information Source 3:

""Jessamy Says She'll Drop Case Against Austin," The Baltimore Sun, January 4, 2002."

Information Location 3:


Information Source 4:

""Becoming Attuned to a New Life," The Baltimore Sun, Feb. 17, 2002."

Information Location 4:


Information Source 5:

""'Today I Have Nothing,' Austin Tells House Panel; Bill Would Ease Compensation of Wrongly Incarcerated," The Baltimore Sun, March 23, 2002."

Information Location 5:


Book About Case:

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Comments About Case:

Innocents Database Created and Maintained by Hans Sherrer innocents@forejustice.org

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