2 men wrongly convicted of murdering Malcom X will receive $36 million settlement

  • New York City and the state will pay $36 million to two men who were wrongfully convicted of the murder of Malcolm X, per AP.
  • Muhammad A. Aziz originally sought $40 million in a civil rights lawsuit in July.
  • The settlement will be shared between Aziz and the estate of the late Khalil Islam, who died in 2009.

Two men who were wrongfully convicted in the 1965 murder of Malcolm X will receive a $36 million settlement from New York and New York State, their attorney David Shanies said on Sunday, according to the AP and Reuters .

Documents for the settlement will be signed over the next few weeks, with New York City paying $26 million and New York State paying $10 million, Shanies told the AP. Shanies did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam, then known as Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson respectively, were sentenced to life in prison in 1966 for the murder of Malcolm X. Aziz was paroled in 1985, while Islam was paroled in 1987 and died in 2009, according to the Washington Post.

They were exonerated in November after a nearly two-year investigation — led by New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance, the nonprofit The Innocence Project and Shanies — showed the FBI and police department of New York, or NYPD, withheld evidence from the first trial in 1966.

In July, Aziz, who is now 84, filed a $40 million civil rights lawsuit, arguing that his wrongful conviction was the result of “gross official misconduct, including, among other things, from the NYPD and its intelligence unit, the Office of Special Services and Investigations,” court documents showed.

Aziz was 26 and a father of six when he was arrested, and the damage done to him and his family “was immense and irreparable”, according to court documents.

The settlement will be split equally between Aziz and Islam’s estate, The New York Times reported, citing Nicholas Paolucci, director of public affairs for the New York City Legal Department, and Shanies. Paolucci did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Malcolm X, civil rights activist and leading member of the Nation of Islam, was assassinated on February 21, 1965, as he prepared to speak at a rally in the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights. He had broken with the Nation of Islam about a year before his death.

A third man convicted of the murder, Mujahid Abdul Halim, also known as Talmadge Hayer, admitted in 1966 to taking part in the assassination, but long denied that Aziz and Islam were involved, according to the New York. Times. Halim was paroled in 2010.

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