April 20, 2014: Rubin Carter Died

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Rubin Carter died from prostate cancer. He was 76.

In March 2012, while attending the International Justice Conference in Burswood, Western Australia, Carter revealed that he had terminal prostate cancer. At the time, doctors gave him between 3-6 months to live. Beginning shortly after that time, John Artis lived with and cared for Carter.

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter was a middleweight boxer best known for having been wrongfully convicted for murder and later exonerated after spending 20 years in prison.

In 1966, police arrested Carter for a triple homicide in the Lafayette Bar and Grill in Paterson, New Jersey. Police stopped Carter’s car and brought him and another occupant, John Artis, to the scene of the crime. There was little physical evidence. Police took no fingerprints at the crime scene and lacked the facilities to conduct a paraffin test for gunshot residue. None of the eyewitnesses identified Carter or Artis as the shooters.

Carter and Artis were tried and convicted twice (1967 and 1976) for the murders, but after the second conviction was overturned in 1985, prosecutors chose not to try the case for a third time.

Carter’s autobiography, titled The Sixteenth Round, was published in 1975 by Warner Books. The story inspired the 1975 Bob Dylan song “Hurricane”.

From 1993 to 2005, Carter served as executive director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted.

Read more about his legacy at: Daily Black History Facts

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