Rubin Carter
The boxer continued to advocate for prisoners who were wrongfully convicted until his death.

Former boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, has died, aged 76.

His long time friend and caregiver John Artis said the sports star, who had prostate cancer, died in his sleep on Sunday (20 April) .

Carter spent 19 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of murdering three white men in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1966.

He was convicted alongside Artis in 1967 and again in a new trial in 1976, on the testimony of two thieves.

Years of appeals and public advocacy followed, and Carter became an international symbol of racial injustice.

High profile friends including boxing legend Muhammad Ali, called for Carter's release from prison and his plight inspired Bob Dylan's 1975 song Hurricane.

After the two key witnesses in the case recanted their stories, Carter was freed in 1985.

He said: "I wouldn't give up. Just because a jury of 12 misinformed people ... found me guilty did not make me guilty. And because I was not guilty, I refused to act like a guilty person."

Rubin Carter
Denzil Washington portrayed the boxer in the movie Hurricane.

Carter's story was portrayed in a 1999 film starring Denzel Washington, also titled Hurricane, winning Washington an Academy Award nomination.

His boxing career over, Carter moved to Toronto, where he served as the executive director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted from 1993 to 2005.

He continued to advocate for prisoners he believed to be wrongfully convicted until his death.

The undersized middleweight went 27-12-1 in his career with 19 knockouts, but never held a title belt.