News 02.02.16

Remembering Civil Rights Champion Myron Beldock: ‘The real story . . . is the fact that good triumphs over evil, and how hard it is to get there.’

Civil rights lawyer Myron Beldock, a champion for the wrongfully convicted and a colleague and friend of the Innocence Project, passed away Monday at the age of 86.

Beldock was best known for his post-conviction representation of exonerees like Rubin “Hurricane” Carter and his co-defendant John Artis—he worked on their case for more than a decade—Yusef Salaam of the Central Park Five and George Whitmore Jr., whose case helped bring an end to many death sentences in New York and influenced the 1966 United States Supreme Court decision

Miranda v. Arizona

.

The Innocence Project worked with Beldock on the cases of Everton Wagstaffe and Reginald Connor, who were convicted in 1993 of a kidnapping in Brooklyn. The pair was

exonerated

last July after 23 years in prison.

Although Beldock had many high-profile legal wins, he spent most of his career defending poor people of color in criminal cases and litigating civil rights lawsuits.

“I was a creature of my time, liberal, progressive and idealistic,” Beldock told the

New York Times

in 2014. “ . . .  I wanted to rectify injustices and improve the criminal justice system.”

According to Innocence Project Senior Attorney Olga Akselrod, Beldock will be remembered as a crusader for justice.

“Myron was a tireless advocate. Working with him on the case of Everton Wagstaffe and Reginald Connor, I was always struck by his remarkable dedication, passion, and relentless pursuit of what was right.  He found injustice to be utterly intolerable, and spent his entire life—even up until his final days —fighting against it,” said Akselrod.  

Read the

New York Times

obituary

here

.

 

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