In the summer of 1966, 3 white men were shot in a tavern in Patterson, NJ – a city plagued by racial tension. Three months later, the killings were pinned on Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a rising star in the boxing world.
Carter was a black man who had already spent four years in prison and who was well-known for his incendiary voice in the civil rights movement. His temperament, his background, and the color of his skin made him the perfect scapegoat.
Police convinced two witnesses, petty criminals both, to place Carter at the scene of the crime, and an all-white jury took only two hours to come to a guilty verdict. In prison Carter remained defiant, refusing to give up his watch and his civilian clothes, poring over his court transcripts, preparing a second defense.
19 years, a second trial and numerous appeals, and finally set him free. Rubin Carter’s prison odyssey, in this hour.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)