Former middleweight boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, known for his left hook and his lengthy campaign to clear his name after being imprisoned for crimes he did not commit, died at his home in Toronto on Sunday morning. Longtime friend John Artis told the Globe and Mail that Carter had been suffering from prostate cancer since March of 2012. Together, Artis and Carter were twice wrongly convicted of a June 17, 1966 triple homicide of two men and one woman at the Lafayette Bar and Grill in Paterson, New Jersey. It wasn’t until 1985 that a federal court dismissed Carter’s convictions on grounds of prosecutorial misconduct and released him from a double life sentence. (Artis was acquitted of the third murder in 1981.)
Carter, whose ordeal was the subject of the Bob Dylan song “Hurricane” and the 1999 Denzel Washington movie The Hurricane, went onto found Innocence International in 2004. In addition to working to overturn other wrongful convictions, he became a motivational speaker and lecturer on the problems of the American justice system.