THIEL COLLEGE Wrongly convicted man to speak
GREENVILLE, Pa. -- Thiel College will use a $5,000 National College Athletic Association grant to bring John Artis, a man falsely convicted of a triple murder with boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, to campus next week.
Artis was just 19 and preparing to attend college on a track scholarship when, in 1966, he was arrested with Carter, a well-known New Jersey boxer, in a triple murder.
Artis was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, but after serving 16 years, he was exonerated and freed. Carter was also later cleared.
Artis now lives in Virginia and works with troubled young people.
His appearance at Thiel is part of the college's diversity program.
The program won't focus only on one tragic night in Artis' life but will also look at the accomplishments he has achieved and his outreach efforts, said Clyde Morgan, assistant coordinator for multicultural affairs at Thiel.
Those efforts began while Artis was still in prison. He taught GED classes, and was vice president of the Lifer's Group, which originated the "Scared Straight" documentary and secured the release of hostages during the 1971 Thanksgiving Day riot at Rahway State Prison.
Artis will speak in a free public forum at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Passavant Memorial Center and will address Thiel's criminal justice class on Thursday.
Thiel will show the movie "Hurricane," based on Carter's life, at 8 tonight and 1:30 p.m. Sunday in Bly Lecture Hall. The showing is free and open to the public.