PDA

View Full Version : Was "The Hurricane" Guilty?


Hottius Maximus
12-17-2012, 10:11 PM
I saw the Denzel Washington movie several years ago, and of course it made it look like the boxer was framed by a racist society. While I know many an African American has suffered the consequences of simply "being black" in America over the years, I have an inherent distrust of "Hollywood" versions of true stories, especially when it comes to convicts (The Barbara Graham story got a LOT OF DRAMATIC LICENSE in "I Want To Live" but much of it was made up). SO...does anybody know the actual facts of the story of the Hurricane? Was there any hard evidence to indicate that perhaps he WAS actually guilty? Was there any hard evidence to indicate that he was unfairly framed by racists? Facts only please.

RickJay
12-17-2012, 10:18 PM
Truth be told there is a pretty fair amount of evidence Carter was guilty.

However, the prosecution and police screwed up the case in several ways; they withheld things from the defense that they were supposed to disclose, relied on the testimony of criminals, and messed up the chain of custody of evidence. Quite honestly, I think Carter was probably guilty. But that ain't enough to convict.

Human Action
12-18-2012, 08:38 AM
I have to second RickJay: probably guilty, but denied a fair trial.

Google found this site, (http://www.graphicwitness.com/carter/topfacts.html) which seems to summarize the case against Carter pretty well.

chargerrich
12-18-2012, 09:03 AM
Carter was likely guilty of the crime but the evidence was slim and the prosecution did a poor job. I believe in today's legal system he would have been found innocent.

That said, Carter was hardly a Saint and IMO a poor subject for a Dylan song :D

Human Action
12-18-2012, 09:54 AM
That said, Carter was hardly a Saint and IMO a poor subject for a Dylan song

I think "The Lonesone Death of Hattie Caroll" showed us that Dylan's research skills weren't always top-notch.

UltraVires
12-18-2012, 07:11 PM
He was almost definitely guilty. He was given a 2nd trial not shown in the movie because of the prosecutorial defects.

2 other things come to mind:

1) The opening fight where he beats the hell out of the white guy only to have the racist judges rob him was total crap. The filmmakers were sued by the white boxer who released the video of the fight which showed a close, but solid Carter loss, and he WON a settlement.

2) The cop (Nick Tortelli, I forget the actor) who follows Carter from childhood to his release, framing him for everything, was total fiction as well.

There were several other "liberties" with the truth. Carter was a thug, a criminal from day one and he was guilty of this murder as well.

Hottius Maximus
12-19-2012, 06:11 PM
He was almost definitely guilty. He was given a 2nd trial not shown in the movie because of the prosecutorial defects.

2 other things come to mind:

1) The opening fight where he beats the hell out of the white guy only to have the racist judges rob him was total crap. The filmmakers were sued by the white boxer who released the video of the fight which showed a close, but solid Carter loss, and he WON a settlement.

2) The cop (Nick Tortelli, I forget the actor) who follows Carter from childhood to his release, framing him for everything, was total fiction as well.

There were several other "liberties" with the truth. Carter was a thug, a criminal from day one and he was guilty of this murder as well.

What the hell is it with Hollywood MAKING SH-T UP!? If the prosecution bungled the case, that's one thing, but BLATANT LIES on the part of Hollywood seems to be the order of the day out there, doesn't it? Yeah I know all about "dramatic license" but trying to pass of lies as facts is reprehensible!

UltraVires
12-19-2012, 07:44 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CWcDnzQzJM

Here's the last 2 1/2 rounds of the Carter-Giardello fight. Does it look like a racist setup here?

DigitalC
12-19-2012, 08:12 PM
What the hell is it with Hollywood MAKING SH-T UP!? If the prosecution bungled the case, that's one thing, but BLATANT LIES on the part of Hollywood seems to be the order of the day out there, doesn't it? Yeah I know all about "dramatic license" but trying to pass of lies as facts is reprehensible!

If real life was interesting enough we wouldn't need movies. But yeah, probably guilty but the prosecution was horrible.

Randvek
12-19-2012, 08:19 PM
But yeah, probably guilty but the prosecution was horrible.

All you really have to ask yourself is "is 'probably guilty' good enough to spend your life in jail?" Some people say yes, some people say no. Funny thing, that.

UltraVires
12-19-2012, 08:29 PM
If real life was interesting enough we wouldn't need movies.

I don't disagree, but when you make a movie that is "based on a true story" most people are going to believe that while minor details and scenes are tweaked to make it more interesting, the basic premise/truth of the story that is being told won't be compromised.

To set up a fake result of a boxing match, to create a fictional character who set up Carter for his whole life, to neglect the legal details of a Brady violation as the only reason Carter was granted new trials (as opposed to real doubts about his innocence), and to deny other real details about his guilt and portray him as something he wasn't?

That's not "literary license." It's propaganda, and should be identified as such instead of giving the impression of truth.

LC Strawhouse
12-19-2012, 08:43 PM
I remember that movie. It was basically a 1960s movie made 30 years too late, where you're not supposed to care how true it is because it teaches a good lesson to always question the establishment, man!

TriPolar
12-19-2012, 09:04 PM
It's a movie. They made stuff up. All of the evidence is tainted. It would be reasonable to find all the witness lacking in credibility. And he may have done it. There will never be a way to know for sure.

Hottius Maximus
12-20-2012, 07:17 AM
I don't disagree, but when you make a movie that is "based on a true story" most people are going to believe that while minor details and scenes are tweaked to make it more interesting, the basic premise/truth of the story that is being told won't be compromised.

To set up a fake result of a boxing match, to create a fictional character who set up Carter for his whole life, to neglect the legal details of a Brady violation as the only reason Carter was granted new trials (as opposed to real doubts about his innocence), and to deny other real details about his guilt and portray him as something he wasn't?

That's not "literary license." It's propaganda, and should be identified as such instead of giving the impression of truth.


PROPAGANDA! EXACTLY! I wonder how long it will be when a movie is made about either Tooky Williams or Abu Jamal Mumia to make THEM out to be innocent saints who were either railroaded or guilty because SOCIETY made them that way!

Hottius Maximus
12-20-2012, 07:18 AM
I remember that movie. It was basically a 1960s movie made 30 years too late, where you're not supposed to care how true it is because it teaches a good lesson to always question the establishment, man!

You are 100% CORRECT! Sadly I don't think Hollywood likes it when we the general public question HOLLYWOOD'S MOTIVES, MAN!

Human Action
12-20-2012, 08:11 AM
William Goldman wrote:

There are really two kinds of flicks—what we now call generic Hollywood movies, and what we now call Independent films.

Hollywood films—and this is crucial to screenwriters—all have in common this: they want to tell us truths we already know or a falsehood we want to believe in.

Hollywood films reinforce, reassure.

Independent films, which used to be called 'art' films, have a different agenda. They want to tell us things we don't want to know.

Independent films unsettle.

A mainstream crowd-pleaser like The Hurricane is at heart reassuring: the criminal justice system was corrupt and racist back in the day, but now it's all better, thanks to hard-working, idealistic youngsters. Here's proof, using a famous case.

Any information contrary to that statement will be neatly expunged.

ralph124c
12-20-2012, 11:28 AM
Think this one was bad? If you watch "Birdman of Alcatraz", you would be convinced that the "birdman" was just like Jesus Christ! Of course, he was actually a vicious murderer, and sexual pervert/predator.

Human Action
12-20-2012, 11:41 AM
I think a greater effort should be made to point out and celebrate films that do make a real effort to be faithful to the actual historical events and persons depicted. Glory, for example.

grude
12-20-2012, 11:50 AM
For some reason the bizarre inclusion of the child molestor bugged me the most.

EDIT:What I mean is the film shows Carter as a child stabbing a child molestor in defense of his friend, in real life it was a robbery there was no child molestor.

Hottius Maximus
12-20-2012, 05:57 PM
For some reason the bizarre inclusion of the child molestor bugged me the most.

EDIT:What I mean is the film shows Carter as a child stabbing a child molestor in defense of his friend, in real life it was a robbery there was no child molestor.

Again, I have to wonder why exactly Hollywood is infatuated with these thugs and miscreants so much that they have to rewrite the facts to make them look like heroes. I mean, isn't the whole point of celebrating somebody who overcame the odds to LAUD & CONGRATULATE THEM! I would assume that there are enough real heroes that movies could be made about without resorting to lying about criminal thugs! For that matter, why in the world did Bob Dylan think it was necessary to praise this dirt bag?

LC Strawhouse
12-20-2012, 06:19 PM
Again, I have to wonder why exactly Hollywood is infatuated with these thugs and miscreants so much that they have to rewrite the facts to make them look like heroes.

To be fair, The Hurricane was just a strange movie and I don't think there are THAT many movies quite like that. There are much more common problems with the movie industry (like too much CGI)

Little Nemo
12-20-2012, 07:07 PM
All you really have to ask yourself is "is 'probably guilty' good enough to spend your life in jail?" Some people say yes, some people say no. Funny thing, that.Legally, no, probably guilty is not enough to convict somebody.

But in the arena of public opinion, a verdict of probably guilty is fine. I have no hesitation, for example, in saying that O.J. Simpson was probably guilty of committing murder even if he was found innocent in court.

Learjeff
12-21-2012, 06:34 AM
If real life was interesting enough we wouldn't need movies. But yeah, probably guilty but the prosecution was horrible.Life is interesting enough, but movie makers want to earn a profit.

Legally, no, probably guilty is not enough to convict somebody.

But in the arena of public opinion, a verdict of probably guilty is fine. I have no hesitation, for example, in saying that O.J. Simpson was probably guilty of committing murder even if he was found innocent in court.My sentiments exactly, meaning he probably belongs in prison. ;)

William Goldman wrote:

There are really two kinds of flicks—what we now call generic Hollywood movies, and what we now call Independent films.

Hollywood films—and this is crucial to screenwriters—all have in common this: they want to tell us truths we already know or a falsehood we want to believe in.

Hollywood films reinforce, reassure.

Independent films, which used to be called 'art' films, have a different agenda. They want to tell us things we don't want to know.

Independent films unsettle. Good quote. He was right. In addition, most movies are made to make a profit. The above formulas are pretty good for that, too, though on different scales and to different audiences. No doubt some movies are made with little regard for profit, but they're the minority, especially among A-budget films. It's hard to fund a big cost money loser.

Human Action
12-21-2012, 06:52 AM
My sentiments exactly, meaning he probably belongs in prison.

The State of New Jersey could have tried Carter a third time, but chose not to, since 22 years had passed, which would weaken any case.

Good quote. He was right. In addition, most movies are made to make a profit. The above formulas are pretty good for that, too, though on different scales and to different audiences. No doubt some movies are made with little regard for profit, but they're the minority, especially among A-budget films. It's hard to fund a big cost money loser.

It really is a question of scale. If you keep the budget low enough and get some names attached, pretty much any film can get made.

I'll tell you what might make an interesting film: a group of idealistic young people set about trying to get an unjust conviction overturned. After interviewing (and bonding with) the convicted man, they slowly start to uncover evidence that he was guilty after all, tearing the group apart, as some deny the evidence, others think the fairness of the trial is the issue, others don't want to risk letting a guilty man out, etc.

UltraVires
12-21-2012, 08:16 AM
The State of New Jersey could have tried Carter a third time, but chose not to, since 22 years had passed, which would weaken any case.



Plus there was no life without parole then. Artis was paroled in 1981 and Carter wouldn't have been much further behind him anyways. A retrial in 1985 would have served little purpose.

Really Not All That Bright
12-21-2012, 02:40 PM
PROPAGANDA! EXACTLY! I wonder how long it will be when a movie is made about either Tooky Williams or Abu Jamal Mumia to make THEM out to be innocent saints who were either railroaded or guilty because SOCIETY made them that way!
*ahem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Prison_My_Whole_Life)*

I'm curious to why you aren't making the same complaints about, say, Oliver Stone.

Hottius Maximus
12-24-2012, 08:58 PM
*ahem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Prison_My_Whole_Life)*

I'm curious to why you aren't making the same complaints about, say, Oliver Stone.

I suppose I could have complained about Oliver Stone. However I wanted to confine this discussion to criminals who were glorified and lauded by Hollywood.

Really Not All That Bright
12-25-2012, 09:52 PM
Like Richard Nixon?

Condescending Robot
12-25-2012, 10:37 PM
I'll tell you what might make an interesting film: a group of idealistic young people set about trying to get an unjust conviction overturned. After interviewing (and bonding with) the convicted man, they slowly start to uncover evidence that he was guilty after all, tearing the group apart, as some deny the evidence, others think the fairness of the trial is the issue, others don't want to risk letting a guilty man out, etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Paperboy_(2012_film)

Human Action
12-25-2012, 11:06 PM
Spoiler...

Thanks!

handsomeharry
12-28-2012, 01:27 PM
All you really have to ask yourself is "is 'probably guilty' good enough to spend your life in jail?" Some people say yes, some people say no. Funny thing, that.

I think the post that used that term was not coming from a juror. I believe you are confusing the issues.

handsomeharry
12-28-2012, 01:32 PM
I remember that movie. It was basically a 1960s movie made 30 years too late, where you're not supposed to care how true it is because it teaches a good lesson to always question the establishment, man!

Right on, baby!

handsomeharry
01-02-2013, 06:14 PM
For that matter, why in the world did Bob Dylan think it was necessary to praise this dirt bag?

IIRC, Dylan was sort of slammed with a bunch of pro-Carter propaganda, by the ones who were making a big deal out of how The Man was persecuting Carter. I think he didn't start to get any part of the full story until a few years after his song was released, etc...

H3Knuckles
01-03-2013, 12:15 AM
What surprises me is that this is still an issue with Hollywood. Law & Order figured this shit out back in the 80's with their "ripped from the headlines/the following story is in no way meant to represent actual people or events" double-talk.

If you're a writer/director/producer, and you come across some real-life story that inspires you; fictionalize it. Use different names, change the setting slightly (different state, same region, or different part of the same front line, etc), basically just go ahead and tell the story you want to tell using only the good seeds from reality without including all the chaff of legal liabilities that comes with using real identities or billing it as a biography.

Problem solved.

Besides, they still could've used the "Hurricane" nickname and song, it's generic enough and would be a tip of the hat to the inspiration.

Really Not All That Bright
01-03-2013, 09:12 AM
As far as Hollywood is concerned, it's not an issue. It's not as though people stay away from movies because their friends say they're historically inaccurate.

Hottius Maximus
01-03-2013, 06:13 PM
IIRC, Dylan was sort of slammed with a bunch of pro-Carter propaganda, by the ones who were making a big deal out of how The Man was persecuting Carter. I think he didn't start to get any part of the full story until a few years after his song was released, etc...

Interesting; did Bob Dylan ever say he regretted defending somebody who in reality was most likely guilty?

Hottius Maximus
01-03-2013, 06:15 PM
Like Richard Nixon?

What movie ever glorified Richard Nixon? I admit that I didn't see the Anthony Hopkins film so I cannot comment on it. I did see "Frost/Nixon" and I don't see how Hollywood tried to excuse Nixon's crimes and make some kind of hero out of him in the process, the way Hollywood has done with the Hurricane and Barbara Graham, to name two.

LC Strawhouse
01-03-2013, 06:29 PM
What movie ever glorified Richard Nixon? I admit that I didn't see the Anthony Hopkins film so I cannot comment on it. I did see "Frost/Nixon" and I don't see how Hollywood tried to excuse Nixon's crimes and make some kind of hero out of him in the process, the way Hollywood has done with the Hurricane and Barbara Graham, to name two.

There are definitely Hollywood movies on the other side of the coin. You may like Paul Schrader's films which really ripped into left-wing anarchist types, particularly Patty Hearst and The Mosquito Coast. Running on Empty with River Phoenix is another movie along those lines. The Final Option (aka Who Dares Wins) is a nice British action film from the early 80s which uses left wing activists as villains - Judy Davis is great as the insane leftist leader.

Hottius Maximus
01-05-2013, 02:17 AM
There are definitely Hollywood movies on the other side of the coin. You may like Paul Schrader's films which really ripped into left-wing anarchist types, particularly Patty Hearst and The Mosquito Coast. Running on Empty with River Phoenix is another movie along those lines. The Final Option (aka Who Dares Wins) is a nice British action film from the early 80s which uses left wing activists as villains - Judy Davis is great as the insane leftist leader.

Thanks I 'll have to check those films out. FYI---While I never saw the movie, I did read "The Mosquito Coast" when it first came out.