By February 2014, Rubin Carter had accepted he was losing his two-year battle with prostate cancer. At his home in Toronto, he wrote his dying wish for the New York Daily News – that David McCallum, a man convicted of murder in 1985, would be granted a fresh hearing.
Carter, 76, detailed his belief of McCallum’s innocence and how he felt a hearing would lead to his release. Only briefly did he reference his own declining health, and how his life had made him an authoritative voice on such a matter.
‘I am now quite literally on my deathbed and am making my final wish to those with the legal authority to act,’ Carter wrote. ‘I’m looking death straight in the eye; he’s got me on the ropes, but I won’t back down.
‘If I find a heaven after this life, I’ll be quite surprised. In my own years on this planet, though, I lived in hell for the first 49 and have been in heaven for the past 28. To live in a world where truth matters and justice, however late, really happens, that world would be heaven enough for us all.’