A famous boxer known by many as” hurricane”, died on the 20th of April 2014 from prostate cancer at the age of 76, he was wrongfully convicted of murder and later freed via a petition of habeas corpus after spending almost 20 years in prison.
Born Rubin Carter, in 1966, police arrested both Carter and friend John Artis for a triple-homicide committed in the Lafayette Bar and Grill in Paterson, New Jersey. Police stopped Carter’s car and brought him and Artis, also in the car, to the scene of the crime.
On searching the car, the police found ammunition that fit the weapons used in the murder.
Police took no fingerprints at the crime scene and lacked the facilities to conduct a paraffin test for gunshot residue.
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.
During the mid-1970s, his case became a cause celébrè for a number of civil rights leaders, politicians and entertainers.
He was ultimately released from prison in 1985 when a Federal judge overturned his convictions.
Carter, who grew up in Paterson, New Jersey, was arrested and sent to the Jamesburg State Home for Boys at age 12 after he attacked a man with a Boy Scout knife.
He claimed the man was a paedophile who had been attempting to molest one of his friends.
Carter escaped before his six-year term was up and in 1954 he joined the Army, where he served in a segregated corps and began training as a boxer.
He won two European light-welterweight championships and in 1956 returned to Paterson with the intention of becoming a professional boxer.
For his lightning-fast fists, Carter soon earned the nickname “Hurricane” and became one of the top contenders for the world middleweight crown.
In December 1963, in a non-title bout, he beat then-welterweight world champion Emile Griffith in a first round KO.
Although he lost his one shot at the title, in a 15-round split decision to reigning champion Joey Giardello in December 1964, he was widely regarded as a good bet to win his next title bout.
Beginning in 1980, Carter developed a relationship with Lesra Martin, a teenager from a Brooklyn ghetto who had read his autobiography and initiated a correspondence.
Martin was living with a group of Canadians who had formed an entrepreneurial commune and had taken on the responsibilities for his education.
Before long, Martin’s benefactors, most notably Sam Chaiton, Terry Swinton, and Lisa Peters, developed a strong bond with Carter and began to work for his release.
Carter’s life was also the subject of a 1999 movie, “The Hurricane,” in which he was played by Denzel Washington, who was nominated for an Academy Award for the performance.
The movie, directed by Norman Jewison, was widely criticized as simplistic and rife with historical inaccuracies.
A more complex picture was provided in accounts by Mr. Carter’s relatives and supporters, and by Mr. Carter himself in his autobiography, “The 16th Round,” published in 1974 while he was in prison.
He attracted supporters even when his legal plight seemed hopeless, but he also alienated many of them, including his first wife.