The Hurricane

Updated July 7, 2009.
Prepared by Mary Whisner.

Links to Hein Online, LexisNexis, and Westlaw are either UW Restricted or require subscriber IDs or passwords.


The Movie

The Hurricane (official website for the film), includes:

  • profiles of the actors and filmmakers
  • a timeline of the Rubin Carter and John Artis’s case
  • the Movie Review Query Engine contains more than 125 reviews of the movie

Rubin Carter on Rubin Carter

Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, Keynote Address (Symposium: Death Penalty: Race, Poverty And Justice), 35 Santa Clara L. Rev. 425 (1995). Hein Online | LexisNexis | Westlaw

Rubin Carter, The Sixteenth Round: From Number 1 Contender to #45472 (1974).
Available on campus at Odegaard Undergraduate Library, Odegaard Stacks HV6248.C353 A33 1974.

Rubin Carter is now a speaker (topics: Motivation, Literacy & Education, Justice). A speaker’s bureau has a profile and a video clip of Carter.

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Other Information

Lyrics to Bob Dylan’s “Hurricane”

Kate Randall, Justice Denied: The Hurricane Carter Story (review of a segment in A & E’s “American Justice” television series; discusses Carter’s case) (June 17, 1999).

Hurricane Carter: The Other Side of the Story, a webpage by Cal Deal, a reporter who covered Carter's case and believes his convictions should have stood.

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The Cases

Links are to documents on Westlaw. Password required.

State v. Carter, 255 A.2d 746 (N.J. 1969)
The New Jersey Supreme Court affirms the convictions of Rubin Carter and John Artis for shooting the bartender and three patrons in a bar in 1966.

State v. Carter, 345 A.2d 808 (N.J. Super. Ct. Law Div. 1974)
The Superior Court judge who presided over the trial describes the evidence presented and denies motion for a new trial.

State v. Carter, 347 A.2d 383 (N.J. Super. Ct. Law Div. 1975)
New counsel argues again for a new trial; judge denies the motion.

State v. Carter, 354 A.2d 627 (N.J. 1976)
New Jersey Supreme Court orders a new trial.

State v. Carter, 363 A.2d 366 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 1976)
Appellate court reverses order limiting public comment, remanding to trial court for findings to support such an order if one was to be imposed.

State v. Carter, 365 A.2d 473 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 1976)
Appellate court reverses a second order restricting public comment.

Feb. 1977: Carter and Artis are convicted in a second trial. Subsequently, the Appellate Division affirms the convictions in an unreported case.

State v. Carter, 420 A.2d 314 (N.J. 1980) (mem.)
New Jersey Supreme Court grants petition for certification.

State v. Carter, 426 A.2d 501 (N.J. 1980)
New Jersey Supreme Court remands case for an evidentiary hearing on whether there should be a new trial based on either of two grounds -- the prosecution's withholding of exculpatory evidence or newly discovered evidence.

State v. Carter, 449 A.2d 1280 (N.J. 1982)
New Jersey Supreme Court affirms convictions in second trial.

Carter v. Rafferty, 621 F. Supp. 533 (D.N.J. 1985)
Federal district court grants Carter's and Artis's habeas corpus petition, finding that they were denied due process by the state's use of a "racial revenge" theory of motive and by the prosecution's failure to disclose the results of a polygraph test of an important witness.

Carter v. Rafferty, 781 F.2d 993 (3d Cir. 1986)
The Third Circuit denies the state's motion to keep Carter and Artis in prison pending a new trial.

Carter v. Rafferty, 826 F.2d 1299 (3d Cir. 1987)
The Third Circuit affirms the district court's habeas corpus opinion.

Rafferty v. Carter, 484 U.S. 1011 (1988)
The U.S. Supreme Court denies New Jersey's petition for certiorari, Jan. 11, 1988. Weeks later, on February 26, a superior court judge in New Jersey signs an order dismissing the indictments.

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NPR Stories

If you have speakers on your PC, you can listen to NPR stories about the movie and the case. Search for “Hurricane Carter.” Or you can choose the program and go to the archives by date.

All Things Considered, Dec. 28, 1999: The Hurricane -- Critic Bob Mondello says he very much likes The Hurricane, a new movie about middle-weight boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. Carter was convicted in 1966 for a triple slaying and served 19 years before being released by a federal judge who said the case against Carter was racially biased. Denzel Washington plays the lead. (3:00).

All Things Considered, Dec. 28, 1999: The Hurricane -- The Real Case -- The Hurricane tells the real story of middle-weight boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter who fought for 19 years to prove his innocence of a murder conviction. The movie, opening tomorrow around the country, has been accused of taking some liberties in its telling of Carter's story. NPR's Nina Totenberg does some fact checking. (9:30).

Morning Edition, Jan. 6, 2000: Hurricane Carter -- Host Madeleine Brand talks to Rubin "Hurricane" Carter about the new movie depicting his life. Carter a juvenile delinquent turned prizefighter was wrongfully convicted of three murders in 1966 and spent 19 years in prison. He cleared his name and regained his freedom in 1985.

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Habeas Corpus

Congress amended the habeas corpus laws in 1996. See Title I of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214, codified at 28 U.S. Code  §2254.  

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