Former US professional boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter, who spent nearly 20 years behind bars, wrongly convicted of murder, has died aged 76.
Carter, said to have been battling prostate cancer, was considered a folk hero by many and has been immortalised in film and song.
Once a middleweight boxer who earned a world title fight, Carter was arrested for killing three white people in New Jersey in 1966.
Carter’s case exploded into national consciousness in 1974, when two key witnesses recanted their testimony, sparking a series of stories by the New York Times and making him a cause celebre for the civil rights movement and prompting Bob Dylan to release “Hurricane”.
He was retried in 1976 and convicted again.
Carter’s arrest, imprisonment, and the ultimately successful battle to free him after racism was deemed to be behind the guilty verdict inspired a film in 1999 starring Denzel Washington.
Carter campaigned for the wrongly convicted from his home in Toronto after being released from jail for good in 1985.