Legendary boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter dies at 76
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
4/20/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
He spent 19 years in prison for three murders he didn't commit. He was exonerated - and then re-incarcerated. Whatever the circumstances, legendary boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter never stopped being a human beacon for human rights the world over. He has passed away at the age of 76 after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer.
"I lived in hell for the first 49 years, and have been in heaven for the past 28 years. To live in a world where truth matters and justice, however late, really happens, that world would be heaven enough for us all," Hurricane Carter wrote in an editorial prior to his passing.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Friend and former co-defendant John Artis confirmed that Carter passed away in his sleep at his home in Toronto, Canada.
Carter's ordeal began when he was charged with the murder of three white people in New Jersey in 1966. Convicted on the evidence of two white prosecution witnesses, the two were in actuality trying to commit a burglary near the location of the murders.
The two would later recant their statements in 1974, and Carter was briefly freed in 1976 after the guilty verdicts were overturned.
Fate was not done with Carter just yet -- he was retried and convicted again in 1976. One of the prosecution witnesses withdrew his recantation, the New York Times reported.
Carter was freed for good in 1985, after a federal judge overturned his convictions.
Judge H Lee Sarokin said Carter's convictions had been "predicated on an appeal to racism rather than reason, and concealment rather than disclosure."
Carter moved to Toronto, where he remained active campaigning for the rights of those wrongfully convicted.
Carter thanked Judge Sarokin for freeing him in an opinion piece for the New York Daily News in February of this year.
"I lived in hell for the first 49 years, and have been in heaven for the past 28 years. To live in a world where truth matters and justice, however late, really happens, that world would be heaven enough for us all."
The alleged racial motivations behind the incarceration became well-known in Bob Dylan's song "Hurricane", several books and a film.
Carter became a high-profile figure in the civil-rights movement, and his advocates included such heavyweights as Dylan and fellow boxer Muhammad Ali, who both expressed their support for him.
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