Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam spent decades in prison after being found guilty of the assassination of Malcolm X on February 21, 1965 in Manhattan's Audubon Ballroom. It's expected that tomorrow their convictions will be tossed. Aziz was released from prison in 1985 and is now 83 years old. Islam, who got out two years later, died in 2009. From the New York Times:
A 22-month investigation conducted jointly by the Manhattan district attorney's office and lawyers for the two men found that prosecutors and two of the nation's premier law enforcement agencies — the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York Police Department — had withheld key evidence that, had it been turned over, would likely have led to the men's acquittal[…]
The review, which was undertaken as an explosive documentary about the assassination and a new biography renewed interest in the case, did not identify who prosecutors now believe really killed Malcolm X, and those who were previously implicated but never arrested are dead.
Nor did it uncover a police or government conspiracy to murder him. It also left unanswered questions about how and why the police and the federal government failed to prevent the assassination[…]
And at a time when racism and discrimination in the criminal justice system are once again the focus of a national protest movement, it reveals a bitter truth: that two of the people convicted of killing Malcolm X — Black Muslim men hastily arrested and tried on shaky evidence — were themselves victims of the very discrimination and injustice that he denounced in language that has echoed across the decades[….]
"This wasn't a mere oversight," said Deborah Francois, a lawyer for the men. "This was a product of extreme and gross official misconduct."
image: Herman Hiller, World Telegram staff photographer – Library of Congress. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/97519439/ (public domain)