Health and Fitness

Malcolm X assassination: Muhammad Aziz and Norman Butler to be cleared in civil rights leader’s murder

NEW YORK CITY — Nearly 57 years after the assassination of Malcolm X, a New York City district attorney announced Wednesday that he is moving to vacate the convictions of two of the men convicted as accomplices.

Muhammad Aziz, now 83 and previously known as Norman Butler, spent 22 years in prison before he was paroled in 1985.

A co-defendant who also maintained his innocence, Khalil Islam, died in 2009.

Confessed assassin Thomas Hagan had long said neither man participated in killing Malcolm X on February 21, 1965.

The office of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, along with the Innocence Project and civil rights attorney David Shanies, began reexamining the investigation last year.

It found that prosecutors, the FBI, and the New York Police Department withheld key evidence that would likely have led to the men’s acquittal.

The inquiry does not identify Malcom X’s real killer or any government conspiracy. Those who were previously implicated are long deceased.

At a news conference Thursday, Vance will apologize on behalf of the law enforcement community, admitting it failed the families of the accused.

There is a hearing Thursday at which the two convictions are expected to be thrown out.

Malcolm X was gunned down as he began a speech.

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