|Rubin Carter is a former boxer, writer, human rights activist, Doctor of laws and CEO & Founder of INNOCENCE INTERNATIONAL, a new generation of wrongful conviction services. Born in The United States of America on May 6, 1937, he has lived in Toronto, Canada since his release from prison. Defending innocent people from wrongful convictions has become his life’s work.|
The life of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter has taken many twists, from obscurity to acclaim and back again. Carter’s boxing career began in 1961, and his fast and furious style made him a crowd favourite. Five years later, while preparing for a World Championship fight, Carter was arrested for triple murder. Although steadfastly maintaining his innocence, he was convicted and sentenced to three life terms, narrowly escaping the electric chair.
In 1974, upon the publication of his autobiography and the recantations of the state’s two key witnesses (criminals who admitted they had lied at the trial), Carter’s case attracted international attention. He became a civil-rights cause célèbre and was immortalized in the Bob Dylan song “Hurricane”. A new trial ensued, but the injustice was repeated. However, he never gave up, and in February 1988, the 22-year-old indictment was finally dismissed.
Carter spoke with former President Clinton on issues related to the death penalty, addressed the General Assembly at the United Nations, and has spoken alongside President Nelson Mandela. His story was depicted in the critically acclaimed film, The Hurricane, starring Denzel Washington. Carter also hosted the CBC documentary, This Can Happen to You, a story discussing the life and trial of a wrongfully convicted man. His updated autobiography, The Eye of the Hurricane, was published in January 2011. Carter holds two honorary doctorates from the University of Toronto and Griffith University.
An articulate and charismatic speaker, Dr. Carter lectures frequently at bar associations, universities, law schools, high schools, and libraries in The United States, Canada, and throughout the world on such diverse issues as literacy and education, wrongful convictions, habeas corpus, and the death penalty.
Please note that Dr. Carter speaking engagement in Collingwood has been cancelled due to illness.