Rubin Carter was in and out of reformatories and prisons from the age of twelve. At twenty-four, he became a winning professional boxer and was turning his life around. But Carter was also very vocal about racism in the local New Jersey police force. In 1966, local policemen arrested Carter and a friend for a triple murder. The two were convicted and sent to jail for life. Carter spent nearly twenty years in jail, proclaiming his innocence.
A teen from Brooklyn, Lesra Martin, heard Carter's story and believed he was innocent. He and a small group of Canadians contacted Carter and began working with Carter's lawyers in New York to get the boxer exonerated. In 1985, a judge released Carter, ruling that Carter's conviction had been based not on evidence, but on racism.
Carter moved to Canada in 1985, where until his death in 2014 he worked helping others prove that they had been wrongfully convicted.
BILL SWAN is the author of five novels and two other Real Justice titles: the award-winning Real Justice: Fourteen and Sentenced to Death on Steven Truscott, and Real Justice: Convicted for Being Mi'kmaq, the book about Donald Marshall, Jr. Bill lives in Courtice, Ontario.
"Swan engages readers from the first chapter with an account of the murders and Carter's arrest, then goes back to tell the story of Carter's earlier life, including a lengthy description of his bout for the World Middleweight Championship... The gripping topic and low reading level will attract reluctant readers."
"[A very engaging story."
"...ideal for sparking conversation on choice, prejudice, corruption, and social justice."
"A fascinating true-life story, told lucidly and fairly, making clear the injustices Carter suffered without whitewashing the more troublesome parts of his personality."
"[This is a book that once you open it to read you are going to have a real hard time putting it down. It is a real page turner. . . This book is a must read. . . I highly recommend this book to everyone. I look for more fantastic books from Bill Swan."
"Jailed for Life for Being Black is an inspiring, balanced portrait of a complex but inspiring man and the injustice that cost him two decades of freedom. Ironically, he may never have found his calling if he had not been denied a fair trial and wrongfully convicted."
"This is an inspiring story, especially for students facing obstacles similar to Carter's - the speech impediment, the childhood abuse, the racism and all the travesties of justice that follow in its wake." Rated G - good, even great at times, generally useful!