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New York To Pay $26 Million To Men Wrongly Convicted For Malcolm X Assassination
Justice has been served for two men in New York. They were forced to spend 56 years in prison for a crime they did not commit. Muhammad Aziz and Khalil Islam will receive $26 million to settle lawsuits filed on behalf of these two men whose convictions in the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X, New York city officials said.
Former Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s office and lawyers for the men found evidence of their innocence after a 22- month investigation.
Many years that were lost
“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.
New York Court convicted Mujahid Abdul, Aziz and Islam in 1966 for the assassination of Malcolm X. They got life sentences in prison. Aziz and Islam claimed they were innocent. Halim acknowledged he took part in the assassination. However, he said that Halim and Islam did not commit the crime.
The city’s court released Aziz from prison in 1985 and Islam in 1987. However, the latter 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.
Who Killed Malcolm X?
“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.
In 2020, Netflix released the documentary “Who Killed Malcolm X?”. The film prompted new questions about the murder of one of the most iconic Black leaders in US history.
As CNN reported, Aziz filed a $40 million civil rights lawsuit in Brooklyn federal court in July. He argued that 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.”
New York City officials are finalizing the paperwork for the $26 million settlement. Court records state the parties in both cases have “accepted the courts settlement recommendation in their respective cases.”