Production tells the stories of local people wrongly incarcerated, and finally freed.
CLEVELAND - March 10, 2020 - Rickey Jackson spent more than 39 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. Through the work of the Ohio Innocence Project (OIP), Jackson is free and building a life for himself and his family.
OIP co-founder Mark Godsey wrote the best-selling book “Blind Injustice,” telling six stories of wrongful convictions, incarceration and finally, freedom. In July of 2019, The Cincinnati Opera premiered its production of “Blind Injustice” to outstanding reviews:
- Wall Street Journal “Seamless, hard-hitting and affecting. A powerful piece of music theater, no mere piece of agit-prop due to David Cote’s skillful libretto and Scott Davenport Richards’s tuneful, jazz-inflected score.”
- CityBeat “Blind Injustice is a masterpiece. Blind Injustice is proof positive that opera can bear powerful witness to the social issues of our time, as well as to the strength of the human spirit in the face of mindless injustice.”
Now OIP, Chagrin Arts, and Kent State University Hugh A. Glauser School of Music are teaming up to bring this important production of “Blind Injustice” to Northeast Ohio in March of 2021, including performances in Chagrin Falls and at Kent State.
On Monday, March 23, 2020, The Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Associationwill host a reception for the producers and supporters of “Blind Justice.” Also in attendance will be three of the exonorees profiled in this powerful piece.
- Rickey Jackson - The 62-year-old now lives quietly in Chesterland after spending 39 years in prison as an innocent man. In 2014, with the help of OIP, Jackson was exonerated and set free. “I feel such a sense of urgency these days. Because I know exactly how much time they took away from me,’ Jackson says.
- Laurese Glover and Derrick Wheatt - Two of the “East Cleveland Three,” these men spent twenty years each in prison for a murder. In 2015, they were released based on a ruling that police withheld crucial evidence and coerced a statement from a witness. “I think faith was the only thing we had left to hold on to,” Glover said. “We were found guilty and sentenced, what else do you have to hold on to?”
We will play clips from the Cincinnati production. Other guests include Pierce Reed, Alec Berezin and Mindy Roy from the Ohio Innocence Project, Dr. Kent McWilliams and Marla Berg from the Kent State University Department of Music, and Karen Prasser and Pat Haynish from Chagrin Arts.
This event is free and open to the public. Appetizers and a cash bar are available. If you want to learn how you can help this important confluence of art and the law, please join us:
Blind Injustice Preview
Monday, March 23, 2020
5:30 - 7:30pm
Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
1375 E. 9th Street
One Cleveland Center
About the CMBA
The nonprofit Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association operates as a center for legal professionalism in the region, promoting the highest ethical and professional standards. Serving the largest legal community in the state, the CMBA has nearly 6,000 members. Learn more at www.clemetrobar.org.