Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2014 10:31 am
Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, the boxer whose wrongful murder conviction became an international symbol of racial injustice, has died at 76.

John Artis, a longtime friend and caregiver, said Carter died in his sleep Sunday. Carter had been stricken with prostate cancer in Toronto, the New Jersey native's adopted home.

Carter spent 19 years in prison for three murders at a tavern in Paterson, N.J., in 1966. He was convicted alongside Artis in 1967 and again in a new trial in 1976.

Carter was freed in November 1985 when his convictions were set aside after years of appeals and public advocacy. His ordeal and the alleged racial motivations behind it were publicized in Bob Dylan's 1975 song "Hurricane," several books and a 1999 film starring Denzel Washington, who received an Academy Award nomination for playing the boxer turned prisoner.

Carter's murder convictions abruptly ended the boxing career of a former petty criminal who became an undersized middleweight contender largely on ferocity and punching power.

Although never a world champion, Carter went 27-12-1 with 19 knockouts, memorably stopping two-division champ Emile Griffith in the first round in 1963. He also fought for a middleweight title in December 1964, losing a unanimous decision to Joey Giardello.

In June 1966, three white people were shot by two black men at the Lafayette Bar and Grill in Paterson. Carter and Artis were convicted by an all-white jury largely on the testimony of two thieves who later recanted their stories.

Carter was granted a new trial and briefly freed in 1976, but sent back for nine more years after being convicted in a second trial.

"I wouldn't give up," Carter said in an interview on PBS in 2011. "No matter that they sentenced me to three life terms in prison. I wouldn't give up. Just because a jury of 12 misinformed people ... found me guilty did not make me guilty. And because I was not guilty, I refused to act like a guilty person."

Dylan became aware of Carter's plight after reading the boxer's autobiography. He met Carter and co-wrote "Hurricane," which he performed on his Rolling Thunder Revue tour in 1975.

Muhammad Ali also spoke out on Carter's behalf, while advertising art director George Lois and other celebrities also worked toward Carter's release.

With a network of friends and volunteers also advocating for him, Carter eventually won his release from U.S. District Judge H. Lee Sarokin, who wrote that Carter's prosecution had been "predicated upon an appeal to racism rather than reason, and concealment rather than disclosure."

Born on May 6, 1937, into a family of seven children, Carter struggled with a hereditary speech impediment and was sent to a juvenile reform center at 12 after an assault. He escaped and joined the Army in 1954, experiencing racial segregation and learning to box while in West Germany.

Carter then committed a series of muggings after returning home, spending four years in various state prisons. He began his pro boxing career in 1961 after his release, winning 20 of his first 24 fights mostly by stoppage.

Carter was fairly short for a middleweight at 5-foot-8, but his aggression and high punch volume made him effective.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 1,340 • Replies: 17
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2014 10:37 am
It's been the lead on the news here since about 6 a.m.

They've been replaying interviews with him on the radio. He'd become very important in the justice community here.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2014 10:45 am
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  0  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2014 12:50 pm
From what I learned about the case, Carter was guilty.

Sadly, the film took a lot of liberties to the detriment of law enforcement, which caused a lot of people to accept Carter's argument that he was denied justice.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2014 04:54 pm
@Advocate,
I saw just the opposite.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2014 05:09 pm
@Advocate,
Advocate wrote:

From what I learned about the case, Carter was guilty.

Sadly, the film took a lot of liberties to the detriment of law enforcement, which caused a lot of people to accept Carter's argument that he was denied justice.


I agree with Edgar here, Advocate. Most of what I have read...and my assessment of how Carter proclaimed his innocence...indicate to me that a mistake was made.

Almost all people convicted try to maintain their innocence, but Carter proclaimed his in a way that convinced me he was a wrongly convicted man.

Cannot be one hundred percent sure...but my feelings are strongly in that direction.

In any case...RIP Hurricane.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2014 05:13 pm
@edgarblythe,
One eye witness said it wasn't him and the two men who identified him recanted, for just two points. I would have to refamiliarize myself with the rest of it to go further.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2014 05:21 pm
There are people who say, "I didn't do it"...and it seems pro forma.

When Rubin Carter said "I didn't do it"...it came from a place most people cannot reach. Either he was innocent or he made a mistake going into boxing...because if he was guilty, he could have earned much more money acting in movies...and would have had Oscars on his mantle.

Convictions obtained primarily by eye-witness accounts are notoriously suspect. Carter NEVER stopped proclaiming his innocence...and never faltered in the face of set-backs.

We'll probably never know for sure...but my reading of things leaves enough room for reasonable doubt to consider the possibility of a wrongful conviction to be high.


0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2014 07:36 pm
I had never heard of Carter, before I came across his autobiography, in a bookstore, someplace in Houston. Reading that book was all it took to convince me he was being railroaded. I don't know if Bob Dylan's song helped that much to free him, but it did me a world of good to attend his Rolling Thunder concert in the Astrodome.
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  0  
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2014 10:18 am
A pistol and a shotgun were used in the killings, and such weapons were found in Carter's auto. The defense attacked this fact by saying that the weapons were not logged in until five days after the shootings. The juries in the two trials evidently didn't think that the defense argument was valid.

I think that there was tremendous pressure on the witnesses to recant.

Carter had a long history of law-breaking, and was even kicked out of the military.

The film falsely, I think, portrays Carter as a good kid who was the victim of a corrupt police officer. The latter denied the truth of such portrayal.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubin_Carter
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2014 11:40 am
Nobody here is calling him a saint. Waiting five days is not exactly doing good police work, assuming the weapons were actually Carter's. The fact he was in trouble in the past does not prove anything. Billy Graham was a hoodlum, when he was young.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2014 01:21 pm
I will concede, after looking around a little, that I do not know everything. Don't have more time, just now.
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2014 06:26 pm
I walked the round cards as ringboy in a fight Carter had in Akron about '65 or '66.

Carter's opponent no showed and they got somebody at the last minute. Carter hit the guy so hard in the opening seconds of the second round they couldn't wake him up and carried him out of the ring on a stretcher.

In the closing seconds of the first round Carter who was cruising to keep the replacement from getting beat to hard was knocked out of the ring twisting the ropes and getting his arm caught. The ref was so shocked that instead of counting a TKO he helped untangle Carter and let him bak into the ring. When Carter got back in, the bell rang the round over. When the bell rng again the opponent thought, 'I did it once, cando it again." And stepped into a punch from a pissed off Carter. The punch put the opponent total off his feet and he was horizontal before he hit the canvas.

Fate Davis also knocked the living poop out of the Michigan City Police state welter-weight champion, Tony Lopez. First professional fighter I ever knew in real life fight.

http://static.boxrec.com/wiki/thumb/6/64/Davis_fate.JPG/200px-Davis_fate.JPG
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2014 06:40 pm
The Star Ledger did a front page story on the Hurricane today...and the reports did a spectacular job of itemizing the reasons it appears Carter actually was not guilty of this crime.

As I said before...we'll probably never know for sure...but it does appear he was wrongly convicted. And he worked tirelessly after release toward correcting other suspect convictions...including a letter he wrote on one prisoner while on his deathbed earlier this month.


http://www.nj.com/sports/index.ssf/2014/04/boxer_rubin_hurricane_carter_dies.html

0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2014 06:45 pm
Heck. Just found out Carter beat Fate Davis in '66 0r '67. And that Carter went to a memorial for Davis when he died in 2005.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2014 06:52 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
bobsal u1553115 wrote:

Heck. Just found out Carter beat Fate Davis in '66 0r '67. And that Carter went to a memorial for Davis when he died in 2005.


Carter also beat Emile Griffith (I talked to Griffith about the fight) who had beaten Benny Kid Paret so badly the kid died. Paret had disrespected Griffith and questioned his masculinity before the fight. If I am not mistaken, it was a first round KO.
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2014 07:00 pm
Jeez. Am I embarrassed. That wasn't Hurricane Carter. It was Amos Johnson. He beat Ray 'Chief' Staples. And then TKO'd him in another fight two months later. Chief hung up the gloves a year later.

http://static.boxrec.com/wiki/thumb/7/7a/AmosJohnson.jpg/200px-AmosJohnson.jpg

Name: Amos Johnson
Alias: Atom / Amos Robinson
Born: 1939-01-04
Birthplace: Oakland, California, USA
Nationality: US American
Hometown: Medina, Ohio, USA
Stance: Orthodox
Boxing Record: click

US Army 1961-1963.

Defeated Cassius Clay as an amateur in the U.S. Pan American team trials (The Ring,Nov 1964)

Amateur record: 63-2 (The Ring, Nov 1964)

Never mind.
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2014 09:52 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Fate wanted a crack at Emile Griffiths but was told he had to get past Carter first. Carter whupped him in a KO the first round. Carter and Fate became friends and Carter ko'd him one more time.
0 Replies
 
 

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