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    New York city and state to pay $36m to men cleared of murder of Malcolm X

    Payments to follow exoneration of Muhammad Aziz and the late Khalil Islam who both spent decades in prison

    Malcolm X

    This article is more than 1 month old

    New York city and state to pay $36m to men cleared of murder of Malcolm X

    This article is more than 1 month old

    Payments to follow exoneration of Muhammad Aziz and the late Khalil Islam who both spent decades in prison

    Associated Press

    Sun 30 Oct 2022 22.31 GMT

    The city of New York is settling lawsuits filed on behalf of two men who were exonerated last year for the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X, agreeing to pay $26m for the wrongful convictions that led to both spending decades behind bars.

    The state of New York will pay an additional $10m. David Shanies, an attorney representing the men, confirmed the settlements on Sunday.

    “Muhammad Aziz, Khalil Islam, and their families suffered because of these unjust convictions for more than 50 years,” said Shanies in an email.

    Shanies said the settlements sent a message that “police and prosecutorial misconduct cause tremendous damage, and we must remain vigilant to identify and correct injustices”.

    Muhammad Aziz, now 84, pictured here in 1965 and upon his exoneration in 2021, was sentenced to life in prison and served 20 years. Photograph: AP

    Last year, a Manhattan judge dismissed the convictions of Aziz, now 84, and Islam, who died in 2009, after prosecutors said new evidence of witness intimidation and suppression of exculpatory evidence had undermined the case against the men.

    Shanies said over the next few weeks the settlement documents will be signed and the New York court that handles probate matters will have to approve the settlement for Islam’s estate. The total $36m will be divided equally between Aziz and the estate of Islam.

    Aziz and Islam, who maintained their innocence from the start in the 1965 killing at Upper Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom, were paroled in the 1980s.

    Malcolm X gained national prominence as the voice of the Nation of Islam, exhorting Black people to claim their civil rights “by any means necessary”. His autobiography, written with Alex Haley, remains a classic work of modern American literature.

    Near the end of Malcolm X’s life, he split with the Black Muslim organisation and, after a trip to Mecca, started speaking about the potential for racial unity. It earned him the ire of some in the Nation of Islam, who saw him as a traitor.

    He was shot to death while beginning a speech on 21 February, 1965. He was 39.

    Aziz and Islam, then known as Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson, and a third man were convicted of murder in March 1966. They were sentenced to life in prison.

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    The third man, Mujahid Abdul Halim, also known as Talmadge Hayer and Thomas Hagan, admitted to shooting Malcolm X but said neither Aziz nor Islam were involved.

    The two offered alibis, and no physical evidence linked them to the crime. The case hinged on eyewitnesses, although there were inconsistencies in their testimonies.

    Attorneys for Aziz and Islam said in complaints that both Aziz and Islam were at their homes in the Bronx when Malcolm X was killed. They said Aziz spent 20 years in prison and more than 55 years living with the hardship and indignity attendant to being unjustly branded as a convicted murderer of one of the most important civil rights leaders in history.

    Islam spent 22 years in prison and died still hoping to clear his name.

    Topics Malcolm X New York news Reuse this content

    स्रोत : www.theguardian.com

    New York to Pay $26 Million to Men Wrongly Convicted of Killing Malcolm X

    Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam spent more than 20 years in prison after the civil rights leader was assassinated in 1965. He had broken with the Nation of Islam.

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    स्रोत : www.nytimes.com

    New York City agrees to pay $26 million to 2 men wrongly convicted of Malcolm X murder

    New York has agreed to pay $26 million to settle lawsuits filed on behalf of two men whose convictions in the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X were thrown out last November, city officials said.

    New York City agrees to pay $26 million to 2 men wrongly convicted of Malcolm X murder

    By Gloria Pazmino, Nicole Grether and Emma Tucker, CNN

    Published 7:58 PM EDT, Sun October 30, 2022

    Malcolm X was assassinated in New York in 1965.

    Truman Moore/The Chronicle Collection/Getty Images

    CNN —

    New York has agreed to pay $26 million to settle lawsuits filed on behalf of two men whose convictions in the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X were thrown out last November, city officials said.

    Both Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam were exonerated last year after a judge found “serious miscarriages of justice” in their cases.

    A 22-month investigation by then-Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s office and lawyers for the men found that evidence of their innocence, including FBI documents, was withheld at trial.

    “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,” New York County Supreme Court Administrative Judge Ellen Biben said in her ruling at the time.

    Muhammad Aziz stands outside a courthouse after his conviction in the killing of Malcolm X was vacated on November 18, 2021, in New York.

    Three men were convicted in 1966 for the murder of Malcolm X – Mujahid Abdul Halim (known previously as both Talmadge Hayer and Thomas Hagan), Aziz and Islam, and were sentenced to life in prison. Aziz and Islam said they were innocent. Halim acknowledged he took part in the assassination, but he maintained the innocence of the other two men.

    Aziz was released from prison in 1985; Islam was released in 1987 but died in 2009 and received a posthumous exoneration.

    “What’s most important is that Muhammad Aziz and Khalil Islam have reclaimed their good names,” David Shanies, an attorney representing both Aziz and the state of Islam, said in a statement to CNN.

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    Khalil Islam, center, is booked as the third suspect in the slaying of Malcolm X, in New York on March 3, 1965.

    “They will go down in history as two brave, dignified, innocent men who never stopped fighting their tragic wrongful convictions. It was imperative that these civil lawsuits be resolved immediately and fairly, and I am gratified that New York City and its lawyers worked with us toward a just resolution,” his statement said.

    Vance’s review of the case came after the 2020 Netflix documentary, “Who Killed Malcolm X?” raised a slew of new questions.

    Aziz filed a $40 million civil rights lawsuit in Brooklyn federal court in July, arguing his “wrongful conviction was the product of flagrant official misconduct, including, inter alia, by the NYPD and its intelligence unit, the Bureau of Special Services and Investigations.”

    Paperwork for the $26 million settlement is still being finalized, but it will be split evenly between Aziz and the estate of Islam, said Nick Paolucci, press secretary for the New York City Law Department. Court records state the parties in both cases have “accepted the courts settlement recommendation in their respective cases.”

    A New York City Law Department spokesman told CNN in a statement: “This settlement brings some measure of justice to individuals who spent decades in prison and bore the stigma of being falsely accused of murdering an iconic figure. Based on our review, this office stands by the opinion of former Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. who stated, based on his investigation, that ‘there is one ultimate conclusion: Mr. Aziz and Mr. Islam were wrongfully convicted of this crime.’”

    CNN’s Laura Ly and Amy Roberts contributed to this report.

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    स्रोत : edition.cnn.com

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