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Two of Malcolm X's convicted assassins are set to be exonerated thanks to Netflix's Who Killed Malcolm X?

  • Released in February 2020, Who Killed Malcolm X? raised doubts about the convictions of Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam, two of the three men convicted of killing Malcolm X in February 1965. The docuseries, featuring the work of historian Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, was enough to prompt the Manhattan district attorney’s office, in collaboration with the Innocence Project, to re-examine their convictions. As a result of a 22-month investigation, Aziz and Islam's convictions are expected to be thrown out on Thursday. "For decades, historians have cast doubt on the case against the two men, Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam, who each spent more than 20 years in prison. Their exoneration represents a remarkable acknowledgment of grave errors made in a case of towering importance: the 1965 murder of one of America’s most influential Black leaders," report The New York Times' Ashley Southall and Jonah E. Bromwich, adding: "A 22-month investigation conducted jointly by the Manhattan district attorney’s office and lawyers for the two men found that prosecutors and two of the nation’s premier law enforcement agencies — the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York Police Department — had withheld key evidence that, had it been turned over, would likely have led to the men’s acquittal. The two men, known at the time of the killing as Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson, spent decades in prison for the murder, which took place on Feb. 21, 1965, when three men opened fire inside the crowded Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan as Malcolm X was starting to speak. But the case against them was questionable from the outset, and in the decades since, historians and amateur investigators have raised doubts about the official story. The review, which was undertaken as an explosive documentary about the assassination and a new biography renewed interest in the case, did not identify who prosecutors now believe really killed Malcolm X. Those who were previously implicated but never arrested are dead. Nor did it uncover a police or government conspiracy to murder him. It also left unanswered questions about how and why the police and the federal government failed to prevent the assassination by at least one member of a New Jersey chapter of the Nation of Islam."

    TOPICS: Who Killed Malcolm X?, Netflix, Malcolm X, Documentaries