In 1967, the black boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter and a young acquaintance, John Artis, were wrongly convicted of triple murder by an all-white jury in Paterson, New Jersey. Over the next decade, Carter gradually amassed convincing evidence of his innocence and the vocal support of celebrities from Bob Dylan to Muhammad Ali. He was freed in 1976 pending a new trial, but he lost his appeal -- to the amazement of many -- and landed back in prison.
Carter, bereft, shunned almost all human contact until he received a letter from Lesra Martin, a teenager raised in a Brooklyn ghetto. Against his bitter instincts, Carter agreed to meet with Martin, thus taking the first step on a tortuous path back to the world. Martin introduced him to an enigmatic group of Canadians who helped wage a successful battle to free him. As Carter orchestrated this effort from his cell, he also embarked on a singular intellectual journey, which led ultimately to a freedom more profound than any that could be granted by a legal authority.