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January 1, Two Men Convicted in Malcolm X Assassination To Be Exonerated



Two men convicted in the assassination of Malcolm X are set to be cleared after more than 50 years, with prosecutors now saying authorities withheld evidence in the civil rights leader’s killing.

Muhammad Aziz and the late Khalil Islam, who spent combined 42 years behind bars for the crime, were set to be exonerated after a nearly two-year investigation by their lawyers and the Manhattan district attorney’s office. They uncovered a witness who supported Aziz’s alibi that he’d been at home the day of the assassination, FBI documents about other suspects, and more.

“This points to the truth that law enforcement over history has often failed to live up to its responsibilities,” Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr., told the New York Times. “These men did not get the justice that they deserved.”

Malcolm X was fatally shot as he began a speech in Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom on Feb. 21, 1965.

Aziz, Islam, and a third man, Mujahid Abdul Halim – known at the time of the killing as Talmadge Hayer and later as Thomas Hagan – were convicted of murder in March 1966 and sentenced to life in prison.

Halim confessed that he was one of three gunmen who attacked Malcolm X, but he testified that neither Aziz nor Islam were involved. They also maintained their innocence.

“This wasn’t a mere oversight,” lawyer Deborah Francois told the Times. “This was a product of extreme and gross official misconduct.”


2 Men Convicted of Killing Malcolm X Will Be Exonerated After Decades

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