PRISON CONFRONTATION

Carter gets caught making a false claim about shooting survivor's testimony

His own book proves him wrong

All too often reporters write down what Rubin Carter says and print it as the truth. They throw in a line from Bob Dylan's factually inaccurate song for effect, and don't bother to verify the statements of a man twice convicted of triple murder. He knows he can say virtually anything he wants and get away with it.

In this interview, however, Carter makes an emphatic but false claim about an important witness' testimony -- and gets caught.


From an interview at Clinton State Prison on Dec. 12, 1975 with Bob Miller of WABC-TV in New York. The interview refers to William Marins, the only surivor of the Lafayette Grill shootings. Marins was shot above the left eye, but the bullet did not penetrate his skull. He lived to tell about it.

RUBIN "HURRICANE" CARTER; William Marins, the man who was shot, came in court and said, "No, it was not Rubin Carter and John Artis who did this." Not only in the court in 1967, but ...

BOB MILLER\: Does the trial record show that he said "No?"

CARTER: Yes it does. The trial record shows that clearly....

CAL DEAL: Jules Marins said that not only did his brother identify you and John Artis twice -- once in the hospital, once shortly after he got out of the hospital -- but his life was threatened after that and, at that point, [William] Marins started to say he wasn't sure and, according to his brother, was living in terror. [See story]

CARTER: Prove that. Prove that.

DEAL: His brother told it to me and I've got it on a tape recording.

CARTER; But don't you see, I've got court transcripts where William Marins said that. It is not mine. It is not my records. I did not collect these records. I did not keep these records. These are court transcripts, under oath, in court.

DEAL: You said in your book that, in court, William Marins did not identify you as the gunmen -- which is correct -- but you also said that he did not say that you weren't the gunmen, either. [To clarify, Marins lived in fear after the shootings. When it came to identifying Carter and Artis, he refused to commit himself either way. He refused to say they were the gunmen, and he refused to say they weren't.]

CARTER: I did not say that, I said...

DEAL: That was in your book. ... You said in your book that William Marins did not say in court that we were the gunmen, but he wouldn't say that we weren't, either. That's almost a direct quote, from your own book.

CARTER: Where's the book at. Get the book.

[Miller moves on to another subject while Deal checks the book. A few minutes later...]

DEAL: Now about this William Marins, you say on Page 329 of your book, "He didn't say that John Artis and I were the guilty parties, but he wouldn't say in court that we weren't either."

CARTER (takes book): Let me show you where we're talking about here.

MILLER: Okay, but what he just quoted -- is it in there?

CARTER; Yes, it's in there. It's in here.This is during the courtroom scene.

DEAL: That's right.

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