Griffith University is saddened by the news of the death of Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter and expresses its condolences to his family and friends.
The University has a strong connection with Mr Carter through the Griffith Law School’s Innocence Project, which aims to free people who have been wrongly convicted in Australia.
In October 2003, the university welcomed Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter to Australia, and conferred on him an honorary doctorate in recognition of his contribution to civil rights and social justice throughout the world and for choosing life and humanity over defeat and bitterness.
Mr Carter spent 20 years wrongly imprisoned for a brutal murder he did not commit. Narrowly escaping the death penalty, he never ceased to maintain his innocence. After a 22-year battle, he was finally exonerated.
Since his release Mr Carter tirelessly devoted his time to helping others wrongly convicted around the world.
Director of the Griffith Law School’s Innocence Project Lynne Weathered said Mr Carter was “an extraordinary man whose life and words have impacted on so many”.
“He was a wonderful supporter of the Griffith University Innocence Project and an inspiration to all of us in the innocence movement,” she said.
Mr Carter delivered a speech to Griffith University at his doctorate conferral in 2003. He spoke of his time in solitary confinement (10 years in total) and how it enabled him to see things more vividly than ever before.
“You will begin to see things, not just as they appear to be, in this thin film of false reality that we interact with every day but you will begin to see things as they really are. And you will begin to see yourself as you have never seen before.
“Because when you can’t see outside, you can only look inside. And thus began my own journey of peace and reconciliation.
“Dare to dream, ladies and gentlemen, dare to dream. For as long as there’s life, there’s hope. And what is a dream, but hope. And hope, a dream.”
Rubin Carter’s legacy lives on in Griffith’s Innocence Project and continues to inspire hope to those wrongly accused.