IF U WERE SITTING WITH ME TODAY
U WOULD BE CRYING WITH ME
I FEEL SO GOOD AND SO SAD AT THE SAME TIME
I LOVE DYLAN’S SONG “HURRICANE”
The man with Rubin who cared for him in his last days is JOHN ARTIS who was with Rubin and was convicted of the same murder. They went to jail together. They saw everything together – through thick & through thin. Some friends are beautiful all the way to the end.
Rubin on the left – Artis on the right
Talk about a “right hand man” – John Artis
TORONTO (AP) — Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, the boxer whose wrongful murder conviction became an international symbol of racial injustice, has died at 76.
John Artis, a longtime friend and caregiver, said Carter died in his sleep Sunday. Carter had been stricken with prostate cancer in Toronto, the New Jersey native’s adopted home.
Carter spent 19 years in prison for three murders at a tavern in Paterson, N.J., in 1966. He was convicted alongside Artis in 1967 and again in a new trial in 1976.
Carter was freed in November 1985 when his convictions were set aside after years of appeals and public advocacy. His ordeal and the alleged racial motivations behind it were publicized in Bob Dylan’s 1975 song “Hurricane,” several books and a 1999 film starring Denzel Washington, who received an Academy Award nomination for playing the boxer turned prisoner.
Carter’s murder convictions abruptly ended the boxing career of a former petty criminal who became an undersized middleweight contender largely on ferocity and punching power.
Although never a world champion, Carter went 27-12-1 with 19 knockouts, memorably stopping two-division champ Emile Griffith in the first round in 1963. He also fought for a middleweight title in December 1964, losing a unanimous decision to Joey Giardello.
In June 1966, three white people were shot by two black men at the Lafayette Bar and Grill in Paterson. Carter and Artis were convicted by an all-white jury largely on the testimony of two thieves who later recanted their stories.
“I wouldn’t give up,” Carter said in an interview on PBS in 2011. “No matter that they sentenced me to three life terms in prison. I wouldn’t give up. Just because a jury of 12 misinformed people … found me guilty did not make me guilty. And because I was not guilty, I refused to act like a guilty person.”
Dylan became aware of Carter’s plight after reading the boxer’s autobiography. He met Carter and co-wrote “Hurricane,” which he performed on his Rolling Thunder Revue tour in 1975.
Muhammad Ali also spoke out on Carter’s behalf, while advertising art director George Lois and other celebrities also worked toward Carter’s release.
With a network of friends and volunteers also advocating for him, Carter eventually won his release from U.S. District Judge H. Lee Sarokin, who wrote that Carter’s prosecution had been “predicated upon an appeal to racism rather than reason, and concealment rather than disclosure.”
Born on May 6, 1937, into a family of seven children, Carter struggled with a hereditary speech impediment and was sent to a juvenile reform center at 12 after an assault. He escaped and joined the Army in 1954, experiencing racial segregation and learning to box while in West Germany.
Carter then committed a series of muggings after returning home, spending four years in various state prisons. He began his pro boxing career in 1961 after his release, winning 20 of his first 24 fights mostly by stoppage.
Carter was fairly short for a middleweight at 5-foot-8, but his aggression and high punch volume made him effective.
His shaved head and menacing glower gave him an imposing ring presence, but also contributed to a menacing aura outside the ring. He was also quoted as joking about killing police officers in a 1964 story in the Saturday Evening Post which was later cited by Carter as a cause of his troubles with police.
Carter boxed regularly on television at Madison Square Garden and overseas in London, Paris and Johannesburg. Although his career appeared to be on a downswing before he was implicated in the murders, Carter was hoping for a second middleweight title shot.
Carter and Artis were questioned after being spotted in the area of the murders in Carter’s white car, which vaguely matched witnesses’ descriptions. Both cited alibis and were released, but were arrested months later. A case relying largely on the testimony of thieves Alfred Bello and Arthur Bradley resulted in a conviction in June 1967.
Carter defied his prison guards from the first day of his incarceration, spending time in solitary confinement because of it.
“When I walked into prison, I refused to wear their stripes,” Carter said. “I refused to eat their food. I refused to work their jobs, and I would have refused to breathe the prison’s air if I could have done so.”
Carter eventually wrote and spoke eloquently about his plight, publishing his autobiography, “The Sixteenth Round,” in 1974. Benefit concerts were held for his legal defense.
After his release, Carter moved to Toronto, where he served as the executive director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted from 1993 to 2005. He received two honorary doctorates for his work.
Director Norman Jewison made Carter’s story into a well-reviewed biographical film, with Washington working closely alongside Carter to capture the boxer’s transformation and redemption. Washington won a Golden Globe for the role.
“This man right here is love,” Washington said while onstage with Carter at the Golden Globes ceremony in early 2000. “He’s all love. He lost about 7,300 days of his life, and he’s love. He’s all love.”
But the makers of “The Hurricane” were widely criticized for factual inaccuracies and glossing over other parts of Carter’s story, including his criminal past and a reputation for a violent temper. Giardello sued the film’s producers for its depiction of a racist fix in his victory over Carter, who acknowledged Giardello deserved the win.
Carter’s weight and activity dwindled during his final months, but he still advocated for prisoners he believed to be wrongfully convicted.
Carter wrote an opinion essay for the New York Daily News in February, arguing vehemently for the release of David McCallum, convicted of a kidnapping and murder in 1985. Carter also briefly mentioned his health, saying he was “quite literally on my deathbed.”
“Now I’m looking death straight in the eye,” Carter wrote. “He’s got me on the ropes, but I won’t back down.”
Carter in 2011
|Height||1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)|
|Born||May 6, 1937
Clifton, New Jersey
|Died||20 April 2014 (aged 76)
|Wins by KO||19|
|No contests||0Rubin “The Hurricane” Carter|
Rubin “Hurricane” Carter (May 6, 1937 – April 20, 2014) was an American retired middleweight boxer best known for having beenwrongfully convicted for murder and later exonerated after spending 20 year 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 nofingerprints 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.
From 1993 to 2005, Carter served as executive director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted.\]
Carter was born in Clifton, New Jersey, the fourth of seven children. He acquired a criminal record and was sentenced to a juvenile reformatory for assault shortly after his 14th birthday. Carter escaped from the reformatory in 1954 and joined the Army. A few months after completing infantry basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, he was sent to West Germany. While in Germany Carter began to box for the United States Army.
In May 1956, he received an “Undesirable” discharge, having failed to complete his three-year term of enlistment. He was arrested less than a month later for his escape from the Jamesburg Home for Boys. After his return to New Jersey, Carter was picked up by authorities and sentenced to an additional nine months, five of which he served in Annandale prison. Shortly after being released, Carter committed a series of muggings, including assault and robbery of a middle-aged black woman. He pleaded guilty to the charges and was imprisoned in East Jersey State Prison (formerly Rahway State Prison) in Avenel, New Jersey, a maximum-security facility, where he remained for the next four years, and spent time in the Rahway and Trenton state prisons.
After his release from prison in September 1961, Carter became a professional boxer . At 5 ft 8 in (1.7 m), Carter was shorter than the average middleweight, but he fought all of his professional career at 155–160 lb (70–72.6 kg). His aggressive style and punching power (resulting in many early-round knockouts) drew attention, establishing him as a crowd favorite and earning him the nickname “Hurricane.” After he defeated a number of middleweight contenders—such as Florentino Fernandez, Holley Mims, Gomeo Brennan, and George Benton—the boxing world took notice. The Ring first listed him as one of its “Top 10″ middleweight contenders in July 1963.
He fought six times in 1963, winning four bouts and losing two. He remained ranked in the lower part of the top 10 until December 20, when he surprised the boxing world by flooring past and future world champion Emile Griffith twice in the first round and scoring a technical knockout.
That win resulted in The Ring‘ ranking Carter as the number three contender for Joey Giardello‘s world middleweight title. Carter won two more fights (one a decision over future heavyweight champion Jimmy Ellis) in 1964, before meeting Giardello in Philadelphia for a 15-round championship match on December 14. Carter fought well in the early rounds, landing a few solid rights to the head and staggering Giardello in the fourth—but failed to follow them up, and Giardello took control of the fight in the fifth round. The judges awarded Giardello a unanimous decision.
Carter felt in retrospect that he lost by not bringing the fight to the champion.
After that fight, Carter’s standing as a contender—as reflected by his ranking in The Ring—began to decline. He fought nine times in 1965, but lost three of four fights against top contenders (Luis Manuel Rodríguez, Dick Tiger, and Harry Scott). Tiger, in particular, floored Carter three times in their match. “It was,” Carter said, “the worst beating that I took in my life—inside or outside the ring.” During his visit to London (to fight Scott) Carter was involved in an incident in which a shot was fired in his hotel room.
Carter’s career record in boxing was 27 wins, 12 losses, and one draw in 40 fights, with 19 total knockouts (8 KOs and 11 TKOs).
On June 17, 1966, at approximately 2:30 a.m., two males entered the Lafayette Bar and Grill at East 18th Street at Lafayette Street in Paterson, New Jersey and started shooting. The bartender, James Oliver, and a male customer, Fred Nauyoks, were killed instantly. A severely wounded female customer, Hazel Tanis, died almost a month later, having been shot in the throat, stomach, intestine, spleen and left lung, and having her arm shattered by shotgun pellets. A third customer, Willie Marins, survived the attack, despite a gunshot wound to the head that cost him the sight in one eye. During questioning, both Marins and Tanis told police that the shooters had been black males, though neither identified Carter or John Artis.
Petty criminal Alfred Bello, who had been near the Lafayette that night to burglarize a factory, was an eyewitness. Bello later testified that he was approaching the Lafayette when two black males—one carrying a shotgun, the other a pistol—came around the corner walking towards him. He ran from them, and they got into a white car that was double-parked near the Lafayette.
Bello was one of the first people on the scene of the shootings, as was Patricia Graham (later Patricia Valentine), a resident on the second floor (above the Lafayette Bar and Grill). Graham told the police that she saw two black males get into a white car and drive westbound. Another neighbor, Ronald Ruggiero, also heard the shots, and said that, from his window, he saw Alfred Bello running west on Lafayette Street toward 16th Street. He then heard the screech of tires and saw a white car shoot past, heading west, with two black males in the front seat. Both Bello and Valentine gave police a description of the car, which changed at the second court case: Valentine claimed that the lights lit up like butterflies, which Carter’s car did not have; only the two end lights lit up.
Investigation, indictment and first conviction
Carter was driving a white Dodge, matching the description of the car as white, and police stopped it and brought Carter and another occupant, John Artis, to the scene about 31 minutes after the incident. There was little physical evidence; police took no fingerprints at the crime scene, and lacked the facilities to test Carter and Artis for gunshot residue. None of the eyewitnesses identified Carter or Artis as the shooters. Carter, in fact, was brought to the hospital the evening of the shooting at approximately 4 a.m., and victim Willie Marins identified Carter as not one of the shooters. On searching the car about 45 minutes later, Detective Emil DiRobbio found a live .32 caliber pistol round under the front passenger seat and a 12-gauge shotgun shell in the trunk. Ballistics later established that the murder weapons had been a .32 caliber pistol and a 12-gauge shotgun. The defense later raised questions about this evidence, as it was not logged with a property clerk until five days after the murders.
Police took Carter and Artis to police headquarters and questioned them. Witnesses did not identify them as the killers, and they were released.
Several months later, Bello disclosed to the police that he had an accomplice during the attempted burglary, one Arthur Dexter Bradley. On further questioning, Bello and Bradley both identified Carter as one of the two males they had seen carrying weapons outside the bar the night of the murders. Bello also identified Artis as the other. Based on this additional evidence, Carter and Artis were arrested and indicted.
At the 1967 trial, Carter was represented by well-known attorney Raymond A. Brown. Brown focused on inconsistencies in some of the descriptions given by eyewitnesses Marins and Bello. The defense also produced a number of alibi witnesses who testified that Carter and Artis had been in the Nite Spot (another nearby bar) at about the time of the shootings. Both men were convicted. Prosecutors sought the death penalty, but jurors recommended that each defendant receive a life sentence for each murder. Judge Samuel Larner imposed two consecutive and one concurrent life sentence on Carter, and three concurrent life sentences on Artis.
In 1974, Bello and Bradley recanted their identifications of Carter and Artis, and these recantations were used as the basis for a motion for a new trial. Judge Samuel Larner denied the motion on December 11, saying that the recantations “lacked the ring of truth.”
Despite Larner’s ruling, Madison Avenue advertising guru George Lois organized a campaign on Carter’s behalf, which led to increasing public support for a retrial or pardon.Muhammad Ali lent his support to the campaign, and Bob Dylan co-wrote (with Jacques Levy) and performed a song called “Hurricane” (1975), which declared that Carter was innocent. In 1975 Dylan performed the song at a concert at Trenton State Prison, where Carter was temporarily an inmate.
However, during the hearing on the recantations, defense attorneys also argued that Bello and Bradley had lied during the 1967 trial, telling the jurors that they had made only certain narrow, limited deals with prosecutors in exchange for their trial testimony. A detective taped one interrogation of Bello in 1966, and when it was played during the recantation hearing, defense attorneys argued that the tape revealed promises beyond what Bello had testified to. If so, prosecutors had either had a Brady obligation to disclose this additional exculpatory evidence, or a duty to disclose the fact that their witnesses had lied on the stand.
Larner denied this second argument as well, but the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously held that the evidence of various deals made between the prosecution and witnesses Bello and Bradley should have been disclosed to the defense before or during the 1967 trial as this could have “affected the jury’s evaluation of the credibility” of the eyewitnesses. “The defendants’ right to a fair trial was substantially prejudiced,” said Justice Mark Sullivan. The court set aside the original convictions and granted Carter and Artis a new trial.
Despite the difficulties of prosecuting a ten-year-old case, Prosecutor Burrell Ives Humphreys decided to try Carter and Artis again. To ensure, as best he could, that he did not use perjured testimony to obtain a conviction, Humphreys had Bello polygraphed—once by Leonard H. Harrelson and a second time by Richard Arther, both well-known and respected experts in the field. Both men concluded that Bello was telling the truth when he said that he had seen Carter outside the Lafayette immediately after the murders.
However, Harrelson also reported orally that Bello had been inside the bar shortly before and at the time of the shooting, a conclusion that contradicted Bello’s 1967 trial testimony. Despite this oral report, Harrelson’s subsequent written report stated that Bello’s 1967 testimony had been truthful, the polygraphist apparently unaware that in 1967, Bello testified that he had been on the street at the time of the shooting.
Second conviction and appeal
During the new trial, Alfred Bello repeated his 1967 testimony, identifying Carter and Artis as the two armed men he had seen outside the Lafayette Grill. Bradley refused to cooperate with prosecutors, and neither prosecution nor defense called him as a witness.
The defense responded with testimony from multiple witnesses who identified Carter at the locations he claimed to be at when the murders happened.
Defense witness Fred Hogan—whose efforts had led to the discredited recantations of Bello and Bradley—dealt the defense yet another blow. Though Hogan denied offering any bribes or inducements to Bello, Judge Bruno Leopizzi forced him to produce his original handwritten notes on his conversations with Bello.
The court also heard testimony from a Carter associate that Passaic County prosecutors had tried to pressure her into testifying against Carter. Prosecutors denied the charge. After deliberating for almost nine hours, the jury again found Carter and Artis guilty of the murders. Judge Leopizzi re-imposed the same sentences on both men: a double life sentence for Carter, a single life sentence for Artis.
Carter’s attorneys continued to appeal. In 1982, the Supreme Court of New Jersey affirmed his convictions (4–3). While the justices felt that the prosecutors should have disclosed Harrelson’s oral opinion (about Bello’s location at the time of the murders) to the defense, only a minority thought this was material. The majority thus concluded that the prosecution had not withheld information that the Brady disclosure law required that they provide to the defense.
According to Carolyn Kelley, a 61-year-old from Newark working as a bail bondswoman in 1975, she was asked to get involved in the effort to win a new trial for Mr. Carter. She devoted more than a year to raising funds for Mr. Carter. Mr. Carter’s appeal was upheld. In March 1976, Mr. Carter was released on bail to await a new trial. A few weeks later, Mrs. Kelly says the boxer beat her into unconsciousness in his hotel room during a meeting she sought with him over affairs relating to her involvement with his cause. Rumors of the beating got out. Finally, Chuck Stone, a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, broke the story of the alleged beating in a front-page article. After Mr. Stone’s column ran, the alleged beating became a national story. Mr. Carter’s celebrity support melted away.
Federal court action
Three years later, Carter’s attorneys filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in federal court. In 1985, Judge Haddon Lee Sarokin of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey granted the writ, noting that the prosecution had been “predicated upon an appeal to racism rather than reason, and concealment rather than disclosure,” and set aside the convictions.
Carter, 48 years old, was freed without bail in November 1985.
Prosecutors appealed Sarokin’s ruling to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and filed a motion with the court to return Carter to prison pending the outcome of the appeal.The court denied this motion and eventually upheld Sarokin’s opinion, affirming his Brady analysis without commenting on his other rationale.
Prosecutors could have tried Carter (and Artis) a third time, but decided not to, and filed a motion to dismiss the original indictments. “It is just not legally feasible to sustain a prosecution, and not practical after almost 22 years to be trying anyone,” said New Jersey Attorney General W. Cary Edwards. Acting Passaic County Prosecutor John P. Goceljak said several factors made a retrial impossible, including Bello’s “current unreliability” as a witness and the unavailability of other witnesses. Goceljak also doubted whether the prosecution could reintroduce the racially motivated crime theory due to the federal court rulings. A judge granted the motion to dismiss, bringing an end to the legal proceedings.
As of May 2013, Carter lived in Toronto, Ontario, and was executive director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (AIDWYC) from 1993 until 2005. Carter resigned when the AIDWYC declined to support Carter’s protest of the appointment (to a judgeship) of Susan MacLean, who was the prosecutor of Canadian Guy Paul Morin,who served ten years in prison for rape and murder until exonerated by DNA evidence.
In 1996 Carter, then 59, was arrested when Toronto police mistakenly identified him as a suspect in his thirties believed to have sold drugs to an undercover officer. He was released after the police realized their error.
Carter often served as a motivational speaker. On October 14, 2005, he received two honorary Doctorates of Law, one from York University (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) and one from Griffith University (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia), in recognition of his work with AIDWYC and the Innocence Project. Carter received the Abolition Award from Death Penalty Focus in 1996.
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 three and six months to live. Since shortly after that time, John Artis has been living with and caring for Carter.
On April 20, 2014 John Artis confirmed that Carter had succumbed to his illness.
Carter’s story inspired:
- The 1975 Bob Dylan song Hurricane
- Nelson Algren‘s 1983 novel, The Devil’s Stocking
- The Norman Jewison 1999 feature film The Hurricane, starring Denzel Washington in the lead role about Rubin Carter’s accusation, trials, and time spent in prison. Carter later discussed at a lecture how he fell in love with Washington’s portrayal of him during auditions for The Hurricane, noting that boxer Marvin Hagler and actors Wesley Snipes andSamuel L. Jackson all vied for the role.
- The Michael Franti and Spearhead song from 2001′s album Stay Human entitled “Love’ll Set Me Free” is also about Carter. The song’s lyric’s also include a paraphrased quotation from the Carter trials: “I ain’t tryin’ to appeal to just your mind Just little part of your humanity.” The words “Love like a Hurricane” in its lyrics also refer to Carter.