Rubin Carter: The Hurricane Essay

1295 words - 5 pages

Rubin Carter: The Hurricane

“Here comes the story of the Hurricane”-Rubin Carter—the boxer, the man—who had justice stacked against him (Dylan, Bob). The question: What is justice? According to whose point of view? In the 1960s, were blacks treated fairly? Case in point—Rubin “Hurricane” Carter who was finally released from jail after 19 years of being wrongfully imprisoned for a crime he never committed.

Rubin Carter in no way has experienced an easy life. He was born on May 6, 1937, in Clifton, New Jersey. At the time, Clifton was a very controversial place to live. Blacks were being treated unfairly from birth because of the color of their skin. When he was about seven he moved with his family to Paterson.

At the young age of twelve, Carter was arrested and sent to a home for boys, called Jamesburg State Home for Boys, by the Paterson detectives. Because of this incident, the Paterson detectives already did not like him, so this would only make his situation in the future worse. The reason he went to the home was because he stabbed a man with a Boy Scout knife. Rubin claimed the man was a pedophile that was trying to molest his friend. He was to serve 6 years without early release from good behavior.

Before Carter’s term was up, he decided to escape. Rubin went from the boy’s home right into the army, where he joined the segregated corps. While in the Army he made some friends that liked boxing. Rubin started training daily and became very good.

In 1956 Carter returned to Paterson, where he had grown up, and was shortly arrested and taken to serve his 10 remaining months in a jail. Once he was released he was arrested again very shortly after for purse snatching; Rubin was to spend four years for that crime.

While in jail for that sentence, Carter continued training for boxing, as this helped to get out some of his anger. His lightning fast swing and “cat-like” reflexes earned him the nickname “Hurricane.” One night, after Rubin was released, he was at a nightclub mingling with some old friends. He was leaving late in the night, and was giving a ride to a man he had just met, John Artis.

On their way home, on the night of June 17th, 1966, they were pulled over by a white police officer and escorted to the scene of the crime, as they fit the possible description of the criminals they were looking for (two black men in a white car).
Carter and Artis later learned that two black men had robbed and fatally shot three white people at Lafayette Bar and Grill in Paterson, NJ. They were then taken to a hospital where one surviving victim, who died later, said they weren’t the killers. John and Rubin are released and were “never suspects”.

Later in 1966, Alfred P. Bello, a well-known criminal and a suspect himself, gave the police a signed statement claiming he saw Carter and Artis at the murder scene. Carter and Artis were arrested and later indicted for the triple murders. An all-white jury convicted Carter and...

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