Monday, February 21, 2011

Here Comes The Story of the Hurricane

In October 1966 Rubin "Hurricane" Carter was a successful boxer, in training for a shot at the world middleweight title. He was arrested for the murder of three patrons at the Lafayette Bar & Grill in Paterson, New Jersey based on a description of the killers as "two Negroes in a white car." Carter was cleared by a grand jury when the one surviving victim failed to identify him. Regardless, the State produced two new eyewitnesses who made positive identifications, a sham of a trial followed, and Carter was convicted and sentenced to three life prison terms.

During the mid-1970s, his case became a cause celébrè for a number of civil rights leaders, politicians, and entertainers. He was ultimately exonerated, in 1985, after a United States district court judge declared the convictions to be based on racial prejudice. After serving 19 years in prison – 10 of them in solitary confinement – Carter has become a tireless advocate for the wrongfully incarcerated. He serves as director of the Association in Defense of the Wrongfully Convicted, headquartered in his house in Toronto and also serves as a member of the board of directors of the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta and the Alliance for Prison Justice in Boston. Carter recently published a new memoir Eye of the Hurricane: My Path from Darkness to Freedom billed as "a document of his spiritual and factual history." Carter reads from and signs his new book in Seattle, at the University Bookstore, on Thursday February 24 at 7pm.

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