A former middleweight boxer whose wrongful conviction for triple-homicide, an injustice that inspired books, films, and most famously, a song by Bob Dylan, has died at the age of 76.
Rubin Carter (40-27-1) was sent to prison largely on the testimony of two thieves, who were committing a robbery nearby in Paterson, New Jersey in 1976. Both thieves recanted their claims a year later, and it was also revealed (but not in court) that they had cut deals with prosecutors in exchange for their testimony.
Carter was granted a new trial and convicted by the same prosecutors on the testimony of one of the same thieves (who recanted his recanted testimony), despite defense arguments which provided an alibi for Carter's whereabouts the night of the killings.
In 1985 a federal appeals court in New Jersey freed Carter, saying his conviction had been "predicated upon an appeal to racism rather than reason and concealment rather than disclosure." I'm not a lawyer but the fact that Carter was tried twice by witnesses who changed
I can't add to vast amount of writing on the Carter case, but for anyone who doubts that from one instant to the next, a world of hateful prosecutors, cops and shady witnesses can conspire to put people in prison, forever, think again.