A man who was wrongly convicted for the murder of a civil rights leader, Malcolm X who was assassinated in New York City on February 21, 1965 inside Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom, has sued New York state. The wrongfully convicted 83-year old man named Muhammad Aziz is suing the state for $20 million.
Muhammed Aziz, Khalil Islam and Mujahid Halim were three men who were charged with first degree murder of Malcolm X. Aziz spent 20 years in prison. He was released in 1985, while Islam was released in 1987 and died in 2009. Halim was imprisoned for life.
A Netflix special had questioned the veracity of the charges and the case against the convictions of both Aziz and Islam. In 2020, the office of Manhattan’s District Attorney Cyrus Vance reviewed the case. Both the convictions were vacated last month.
According to the lawsuit, Mujahid Halim had testified at a trial that he was the one who had shot the civil rights leader. He said that neither Aziz or Islam “had any involvement with the murder of Malcolm X.”
The suit also mentioned that Aziz had spent “20 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.” It also noted that that he had lived with “hardship and indignity” as he had been “unjustly branded as a convicted murderer” of Malcolm X who is undoubtedly “one of the most important civil rights leaders in history,” for 55 years of his life.
The Innocence Project and the lawyers for the men said that FBI documents and other evidence had been “withheld from both defense and prosecution” during the trial.
Aziz’s suit also mentions the physical injuries that he faced after being incarcerated in maximum security prisons in the Empire state. It also details the emotional and mental distress and other damages that he faced in different prisons throughout New York state. He was 26 years old when he was sent to prison and was 46 years old when he was released from prison.
Image Credit Wiki