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Two men convicted of killing Malcolm X to be exonerated

Muhammad A. Aziz and the late Khalil Islam will have their convictions thrown out

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A mural by Daniel Galvez titled “Homage to Malcolm X.”

Aaron Page, left, and Kalyani Thampi inspect the mural by Daniel Galvez titled “Homage to Malcolm X” with their 6 week old son Sury Thampi-Paige at the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center, formerly the Audubon Ballroom, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, in New York.

Associated Press

Two men convicted of the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X are expected to be exonerated after more than half a century, according to CNN.

  • The two men — Muhammad A. Aziz and the late Khalil Islam — were known as Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson at the time of the killing.

A 22-month investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s office and the lawyers for the two men found that evidence of their innocence was withheld during the trial by the FBI, the report stated.

  • On Wednesday, Vance tweeted: “News: D.A. Vance, @innocence (The Innocence Project), and Shanies Law Office will move to vacate the wrongful convictions of two men for the murder of Malcolm X. More to come tomorrow.”
  • In an interview with The New York Times, Vance apologized on behalf of the law enforcement agencies, adding: “This points to the truth that law enforcement over history has often failed to live up to its responsibilities.”

Per CNN, Aziz, 83 was released from prison in 1985, while Islam was released in 1987 and died in 2009.

  • The Innocence Project and Aziz and Islam’s lawyers filed a joint motion to throw out the 1966 convictions.

Malcolm X was a powerful voice during the civil rights movement. According to CNN, on Feb. 21, 1965, he was on the stage of the Audubon Ballroom in New York, with his wife and four children in the crowd. Shots were fired, resulting in his death.