Two men acquitted of Malcom X murder to receive $ 36m | News of the courts

Two men acquitted of Malcom X murder to receive $ 36m | News of the courts

The two men, Muhammad Aziz and Khalil Islam, have always maintained that they did not kill the civil rights leader in 1965.

The two men who were convicted of the 1965 murder Malcolm X were canceled last year will receive $36m from the city and state of New York, their lawyer confirmed.

“The tragedy of the assassination of Malcolm X was felt around the world, and made worse by the fact that it led to the conviction and imprisonment of two innocent, young, black men in America,” said his lawyer David Shanies in an email statement to AFP. sunday evening

The two men, Muhammad Aziz and Khalil Islam, have always maintained that they did not commit the murder.

Aziz, 84, had sought $40 million after serving nearly two decades in prison and more than 55 years after being wrongly accused in the case that raised questions about racism in the criminal justice system. Aziz is married and has six children.

Islam, who died in 2009 at the age of 74, also spent more than 20 years in prison and was Exonerated in November 2021. His estate had also filed a lawsuit for $40 million.

They were released in the mid-1980s, but it wasn’t until November 2021 that their names were fully cleared by the New York State Supreme Court, which called their convictions nearly half a century ago. a failure of justice.”

“Today we recognize that injustice and take a modest step toward rectifying it,” Shanies said.

He confirmed a report from the New York Times that New York City will pay $26 million to be split between 84-year-old Aziz and Islam’s family.

The New York state government will also pay five million dollars each, for a total of $36 million in compensation.

Nick Paolucci, a spokesman for the New York City Department of Justice, told the New York Times on Sunday: “[T]his settlement brings some measure of justice to individuals who have spent decades in prison and carry the stigma of being falsely accused of murdering an iconic figure.”

For more than half a century, the official document said that three members of the black nationalist group Nation of Islam – which Malcolm X had recently renounced – shot the iconic 39-year-old leader in front of his wife and children children when he came to speak at the podium of a Harlem dance hall.

A man with a sawed-off shotgun rushed onto the stage and shot Malcolm once in the chest. Two others with semi-automatic pistols charged forward, firing into him. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital with 21 gunshot wounds.

Malcolm X
Malcolm X speaks to reporters in Washington, DC on May 16, 1963 [AP Photo]

His funeral in Harlem was attended by leading black civil rights leaders and as many as 30,000 mourners in the streets.

Aziz, Islam and a third man, Mujahid Abdul Halim, were convicted in 1966 – but historians have long had doubts about that thesis.

Abdul Halim – now 81 and released from prison in 2010 – has confessed to the murder but maintains the innocence of the other two.

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