American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"The Hurricane" (1999)


Judge Sarokin: Decision of the Court on Rubin Carter

Audio mp3 delivered by Rod Steiger


Court Officer: All rise. This Federal District Court of New Jersey is now in session. Judge Sarokin presiding. Be seated.

Judge Sarokin: This Court does not arrive at its conclusion lightly. On one hand, Rubin Carter has submitted a document alleging racial prejudice, coercion of testimony, and withholding of evidence. On the other hand, Mr. Carter was tried twice by two different juries, and those convictions were subsequently upheld by the New Jersey State Supreme Court.

However, the extensive record clearly demonstrates to this Court that Rubin Carter's conviction was predicated upon an appeal to racism rather than reason, and concealment rather than disclosure.

To permit convictions to stand which have as their sole foundation appeals to racial prejudice is to commit a violation of the Constitution as heinous as the crimes for which the defendants were tried and convicted.

I hereby order Rubin Carter released from prison henceforth from this day forward.

This Court is adjourned.

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