John Artis, the man who was wrongfully convicted with boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter of triple murder, died at age 75.
According to The Guardian, Artis died on Nov. 7 of an abdominal aortic aneurysm at his home in Hampton, Virginia. The information was confirmed by Fred Hogan, a longtime friend of Artis and Carter.
Hogan claimed that Artis was the “forgotten man” in the case. He further claimed that Carter used to call Artis his “hero” as he turned down an offer for a reduced sentence that would compromise the boxer.
The duo’s story has inspired such works as the movie “The Hurricane” (1999), starring Denzel Washington, and “Hurricane” (1975), one of Bob Dylan’s most famous and acclaimed songs.
Artis and Carter were wrongfully convicted in 1966 of murder in a case that took place in a bar in New Jersey.
At the time, witnesses said that the victims, who were white, were killed by two blacks. Artis and Carter were sentenced to life in prison by an all-white jury. Carter had his conviction overturned in 1985. Artis was released on parole four years earlier.
The two remained great friends until the boxer’s death in 2014.
According to the New York Times, Artis counseled inmates at the Norfolk juvenile detention center and volunteered on wrongful sentencing cases in the US and Canada.