Two Men Convicted in Malcolm X’s Death Now Exonerated

Two Men Convicted in Malcom X's Death Now Exonerated

( – In the 1960s, there were two competing civil rights figures. Martin Luther King, Jr., who believed in peaceful activism, and Malcolm X, who wasn’t opposed to violence if it moved the cause forward. Assassins killed both men. The men convicted of murdering Malcolm X have now been exonerated.

Police arrested three men: Talmadge Hayer, Muhammad Abdul Aziz and Khalil Islam. Hayer swore neither Aziz nor Islam helped him commit the murder. Both men had alibis, and no physical evidence ever linked them to the case. On November 18, Manhattan Judge Ellen Biben dismissed the convictions against the two men. The judge revealed new information had come to light proving their innocence.

On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X (born Malcolm Little) was preparing to speak at Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom when someone screamed at him. He and his bodyguards tried to calm the 400-person audience when someone stepped forward and shot the civil rights leader in the chest using a sawed-off shotgun. Two other men stepped forward and began firing semi-automatic handguns at him. He died from his injuries.

Islam died before his exoneration, but his sons said he would have been ecstatic to clear his name. Aziz told the court that he’s an “83-year-old man who was victimized by the criminal justice system.”

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