Two Men Convicted of Killing Malcolm X Exonerated

Two men convicted of the murder in 1965 of US civil rights leader Malik el-Shabazz,also known as Malcolm X have been exonerated. 

USA Today reports that the Manhattan district attorney and lawyers for the two men moved to vacate the convictions of Muhammad Aziz and the late Khalil Islam in the 1965 killing, and Manhattan judge Ellen Biben tossed out the verdicts.

“I regret that this court cannot fully undo the serious miscarriages of justice in this case and give you back the many years that were lost.” 

The State Supreme Court said a reinvestigation found “significant evidence that was not known at the time of the trial” and which would likely have seen the men acquitted.

Aziz and Islam, then known as Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15 Johnson  were convicted in 1966 and spent about two decades in prison, all the while maintaining their innocence. 

Aziz was released in 1985 while Islam was released two years later and died in 2009.

Malcolm X was killed  in front of his wife Betty Shabazz and four children while giving a speech at New York’s Audubon Ballroom on 21 February 1965.

In February, Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, told CBS News her family always had questions about her father’s death

One of the civil rights era’s most compelling figures, Malcolm X rose to fame as the Nation of Islam’s chief spokesperson, proclaiming the Black Muslim organisation’s message at the time: racial separatism as a road to self-actualisation.

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