Rubin “Hurricane” Carter (May 6, 1937 – April 20, 2014)
R.I.P Legend !!
Here comes the story of the Hurricane…..
Rubin “Hurricane” Carter was boxing’s most feared middleweight contender in the early 1960s. Standing only 5’ 8” tall and weighing 160 lbs., he nevertheless had one of the most muscular builds in the sport. With a shaved head, Fu Manchu moustache and a set of guns Rich Peaks would be proud of, he sent shudders and shakes through his opponents.
A self-proclaimed wild child, Carter was from a family of four girls and four boys. He spent much of his youth in reform schools. He escaped from Allendale Reformatory in 1953 and joined the U.S. army. He credits the army with straightening him out and made him the person he is today. He served as a paratrooper and was stationed in Europe, where he started fighting for the Army Boxing Team. Carter left the Army with 51 wins in 56 fights, including 31 by KO. He turned pro in 1961, and by June 1963 after only 19 fights (16-3), was rated 10th in the world.
In the early morning of June 17, 1966, two men and a woman were shot dead at the Lafayette Grill in Paterson, New Jersey. Within an hour, police pulled over Carter and an acquaintance, John Artis, who were in a car similar to the one driven by the murderers. They were taken to the police station for questioning.
On August 6 and in the midst of a grand-jury investigation into the homicides, Carter lost his last fight, a 10-round decision to Juan “Rocky” Rivero. Two months later, despite lie detector results, Carter and Artis were charged with the triple murders.
Arthur Bradley and Alfred Bello, both convicted felons, were the prosecutor’s main witnesses, and they placed Carter and Artis at the scene of the crime. An all-white jury convicted the two on May 27, 1967. Carter and Artis were each sentenced to three sentences of life in prison.
By 1974 Bradley and Bello had recanted their story. Both said they were pressured by authorities to offer false testimony against Carter and Artis, who had repeatedly referred to them as “animals” and “niggers.”
Stories about the case in The New York Times gained national attention. From Rahway State Prison in New Jersey, Carter wrote his autobiography, “The Sixteenth Round,” published in 1974, and Bob Dylan (Pictured above visiting Carter) performed “Hurricane” for the first time a year later. The song tells the Carters story and benefit concerts for him were held at Madison Square Garden and in Houston.
Finally, attorneys for Carter and Artis convinced the New Jersey Supreme Court to hear their appeal. The convictions were overturned on March 17, 1976.
In a second trial, Bello did another mysteriously went back to his original testimony in a bid to keep Carter and Artis in Jail. Prosecutor Vincent Hull introduced racial motivation and he made an emotional appeal to the jury. The strategy worked. On Dec. 22, 1976, Carter and Artis were found guilty again. Artis eventually won parole in 1981, but Carter remained in prison, persisting in his fight for freedom.
Finally, in November 1985, federal district judge H. Lee Sarokin released Carter on the grounds that the convictions “were predicated on an appeal to racism rather than reason, and concealment rather than disclosure.”
More than two years later, authorities finally decided against a third trial, and the original indictments against Carter and Artis were dismissed for good on Feb. 26, 1988. Their names were now cleared.
In Toronto, Carter heads the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted, going around Canada and the United States trying to help others who may have been wrongly convicted. He also delivers speeches about his life. Although he once expressed anger about his past, his reflections have changed.
“There is no bitterness,” he said in 1999. “If I was bitter, that would mean they won.”
This story is best portrayed by the film ‘The Hurricane’ where Hollywood powerhouse Denzel Washington plays Rubin Carter. Denzel illustrates brilliantly Carters psychological battle in prison, and the life changing journey he went through.
Rubin Carter was victim to a racial battle which optimised the culture of that era. I cannot comprehend how he felt locked up for nearly 20 years for a crime he didn’t commit, but if the film is accurate, Carters main concern was that John Artis was dragged into it for simply giving him a lift home. We will never find out if Carter ever would have been a world champion, but his story is truly inspirational and he will be forever known as a legend.
THIS IS MY FAVORITE.
I just hurt myself laughing
Jesus, you JESUS.
OH MY GOD
Happy Good Friday
Stella Angelova Swordplay