The life of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter has taken many twists, from obscurity to acclaim and back again. Carter’s boxing career began in 1961, and his fast and furious style made him a crowd favourite. Five years later, while preparing for a World Championship fight, Rubin Carter was arrested for triple murder. Although steadfastly maintaining his innocence, he was convicted and sentenced to three life terms, narrowly escaping the electric chair.
In 1974, upon the publication of his autobiography and the recantations of the state’s two key witnesses (criminals who admitted they had lied at the trial), Rubin Carter’s case attracted international attention. He became a civil-rights cause célèbre and was immortalized in the Bob Dylan song “Hurricane”. A new trial ensued, but the injustice was repeated. However, he never gave up, and in February 1988, the 22-year-old indictment was finally dismissed.
Rubin Carter spoke with former President Clinton on issues related to the death penalty, addressed the General Assembly at the United Nations, and has spoken alongside President Nelson Mandela. His story was depicted in the critically acclaimed film “The Hurricane” starring Denzel Washington. Rubin recently resigned from his position as executive director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (AIDWYC), an organization that he founded.