Two convicted of the murder of Malcolm X to be cleared after six decadestext_fields
New York City: The two convicted of shooting down United States activist and civil rights activist Malcolm X six decades ago will be cleared of the crime, Manhattan district attorney said on Wednesday. News outlets have also informed that the Manhattan attorney's office would throw out convictions of Muhammad A Aziz and Khalil Islam, Al Jazeera reported.
Aziz and Islam, previously known as Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson, were identified by witnesses as the two gunmen who shot the black leader. But the accused have maintained their innocence.
Manhattan attorney Cyrus R Vance Jr told The New York Times (TNYT) that the men did not get the justice they deserve. He was talking in an interview after completing a reinvestigation of the case, together with the Innocence Project and other civil rights lawyers.
Malcolm X of the civil rights era rose to fame as the Nation of Islam's chief spokesperson. He urged Black people to claim civil rights. In 1965, a year past the fall of the Nation of Islam, he was shot. He died of 21 gunshot wounds.
One year later, Aziz and Islam were convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Aziz, released in 1985, is 83 now. Islam was released in 1987, and he died in 2009, TNYT reported.
The latest investigation on the case has found that the prosecutors withheld evidence from the jury that pointed to other suspects, and Aziz and Islam likely would have been acquitted had it been presented. A third man, Thomas Hagan, who was also convicted along with Aziz and Islam, admitted that he was one of the gunmen, but he had testified that neither the other two were involved.
Malcolm X was shot before his wife, children and a large audience, who was about to be addressed by him, at the Audubon Ballroom in the Washington Heights neighbourhood in Manhattan. Malcolm's daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, said that any evidence that provides greater insight into the truth behind her father's murder should be investigated.