A press release from Innocence Project and civil rights lawyer David Shanies’ law office informed that District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. of Manhattan district attorney’s office has decided to move to vacate Muhammad Aziz and the late Khalil Islam after more than half a century. They were convicted in the Black civil rights leader Malcolm X assassination case in 1965.
According to the clear statement of a third convict of this case, there was no involvement from either of these two, however, he confessed he himself was one of the gunmen of the killing.
Aziz’s lawyers unfolded his statement where he said, “While I do not need this court, these prosecutors, or a piece of paper to tell me I am innocent.”
Aziz and Islam spent about two decades in prison for the crime. Aziz, 83, was released in 1985. Islam was released two years later and died in 2009.
After an almost two-year-long investigation by the district attorney’s office and lawyers for these the probe came in an expected way supporting the innocence of Aziz and Islam.
Barry Scheck, co-director of the Innocence Project, said in the release, “This is one of the most blatant miscarriages of justice that I have ever seen.”
The vacant appeal is expected to be heard on NY State Supreme Court on Thursday and they will be released by the judge from their convicted status, Islam being posthumous.
Bottom Line: Two innocent convicts of the 1965 Malcolm X assassination case are set to be vacant with the move from the district attorney and Innocence project after 56 years. They were also jailed for two decades around without any verdict of guilty, one had expired in 2009 already.