The New York Times obituary is, "Rubin (Hurricane) Carter, Boxer Whose Murder Convictions Were Overturned, Dies at 76," is by Selwyn Raab.
Rubin (Hurricane) Carter, a star prizefighter whose career was cut short by a murder conviction in New Jersey and who became an international cause célèbre while imprisoned for 19 years before the charges against him were dismissed, died on Sunday morning at his home in Toronto. He was 76.
The cause of death was prostate cancer, his friend and onetime co-defendant, John Artis, said. Mr. Carter was being treated in Toronto, where he had founded a nonprofit organization, Innocence International, to work to free prisoners it considered wrongly convicted.
Mr. Carter was convicted twice on the same charges of fatally shooting two men and a woman in a Paterson, N.J., tavern in 1966. But both jury verdicts were overturned on different grounds of prosecutorial misconduct.
He attracted worldwide attention during the roller-coaster campaign to clear his name of murder charges. Amnesty International described him as a “prisoner of conscience” whose human rights had been violated. He portrayed himself as a victim of injustice who had been framed because he spoke out for civil rights and against police brutality.
A defense committee studded with entertainment, sports, civil rights and political personalities was organized. His cause entered the realm of pop music when Bob Dylan wrote and recorded the song “Hurricane,” which championed his innocence and vilified the police and prosecution witnesses. It became a Top 40 hit in 1976.
The obituary notes Mr. Carter's autobiography, The Sixteenth Round: From Number 1 Contender to Number 45472, which is still in print.
"Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter's life story is a warning to us about racism and revenge," is by Geoffrey Robertson for the Guardian's Comment is free. He was an attorney in the case.
In 1976, I was a junior lawyer on Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter's retrial defence team. His story has a significance that should outlive his death.
I met Rubin Carter during his release on bail in 1976. He had, quite literally, written his way out of life imprisonment with a memoir, The 16th Round, which revived interest in his case. Selwyn Raab of the New York Times cracked Bellow and Bradley, who confessed to perjury. Bob Dylan, who years before had so movingly mourned the lonesome death of Hattie Carroll, now set the story of "the Hurricane" to a driving, angry beat. Mohammed Ali led protest marches, and an appeals court ordered a retrial.
"‘Hurricane’ Carter went to the mat for the wrongfully accused," is by David A. Love at the Grio. He's the Executive Director of Witness to Innocence.
To the end, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter fought for the wrongfully convicted as he had once fought in the ring, with the type of passion that earned him his boxing nickname. In February, Carter wrote an op-ed in the New York Daily News with his dying wish: He asked the new Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson, also a black man, to release David McCallum, a man who has been in prison for murder charges since 1985, the year Carter became a free man.
Thank you, Hurricane, for opening our eyes. Raised in this country to believe the system works for everyone, and accepting it without question, we simply did not know any better.
Andrew Cohen posts, "The Redemption Song of Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter," at the Atlantic.
William C. Rhoden, the Times' venerable sports columnist, did better, writing in his tribute Sunday that "Carter offers a reminder that one’s deeds on the court or on the field will be quickly forgotten; contributions to society resonate across decades. Carter’s name endures not because he had a great left hook but because of the principles he represented until the day he died." Let us now spend a few minutes highlighting the ways in which those principles were distributed to countless men and women less fortunate than Carter, who had little of his natural charisma or talent or celebrity, and who desperately needed him to help bring their cases and their causes into light.