City of Paterson renames New Jersey street after two men wrongfully convicted of murder

Anthony Johnson Image
Monday, May 6, 2024
Street in Paterson renamed for wrongfully convicted men
Anthony Johnson has the story in New Jersey on the street renaming.

PATERSON, New Jersey (WABC) -- A street in Paterson was renamed after two men who spent decades behind bars for a triple murder they did not commit.

Boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter and John Artis were honored in front of the very courthouse where they were tried and wrongfully convicted. Now the street outside the courthouse carries their name.

It's proof that Paterson has come full circle.

"58 1/2 years later, the city of Paterson is definitely giving some type of compensation," said Theodora Carter, Rubin's daughter.

Carter was a prominent boxer in the 1960s, but his career was ruined by the murder convictions. It took two court cases before the convictions were overturned.

The case got the attention of celebrities, including singer Bob Dylan, who took up the cause for justice in his lyrics. His story also became the inspiration of the movie "The Hurricane," in which actor Denzel Washington portrayed Carter.

After his conviction was overturned, Carter fought to help those who were unfairly treated by the criminal justice system.

Paterson Councilman Michael Jackson led the campaign to get the street renamed. Monday's ceremony was a long time in the making.

"They cannot erase the trauma, but this is a start," Carter's daughter said.

The Carter and Artis families has been united since the 1966 arrests. The families endured years of separation along with pain and suffering, but on Monday, they are feeling vindicated.

"We've been through a lot, and to see this today I am just so happy," said cousin Ron Artis.

Carter died of prostate cancer back in 2014, and Artis in 2021. Family members say the spirits of both men are with them.

"I know that he and Rubin are smiling, celebrating right now, this is a great occasion," said Robert Artis about his late cousin.

Monday's ceremony would have marked Carter's 88th birthday.

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Kemberly Richardson has the story in Staten Island on the actor's visit.


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