Editorial Exchange: Rubin "Hurricane" Carter Leaves a Champion's Legacy

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Rubin "Hurricane" Carter leaves a champion's legacy

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An editorial from the Toronto Star, published April 21:

As Bob Dylan sang so memorably in Hurricane, Rubin Carter "could-a been the champion of the world." In the end, he did turn out to be a champion, of men like himself, wrongly railroaded for crimes they never committed.

Carter died of cancer in Toronto on Sunday after an exceptional life, filled with hardship, strength of character, compassion and hope.

Instead succumbing to anger while serving 19 years in New Jersey after being wrongly convicted of a triple murder, Carter survived, overcame, and forged ahead. He moved to Toronto and dedicated his life to a long list of wrongfully convicted, including Guy Paul Morin, David Milgaard and Steven Truscott.

This will be his legacy: proof that a harsh life needn't become bitter and that truth, fiercely pursued, will prevail.

In Carter's words, "To live in a world where truth matters and justice, however late, really happens, that would be heaven enough for us all." Certainly, that was his faith.

It wasn't easy. In his early years Carter had brushes with the law but joined the U.S. army and took up boxing, earning the nickname "Hurricane" for his aggressive style. He was once in contention for the world middle-weight title but in 1966 was picked up on suspicion of killing a New Jersey bartender and two customers -- simply because he was black. …

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