Khalil Islam (Thomas 15X Johnson) (left) and Muhammad Aziz (Norman 3XButler) Credit: AP Photos, File

A fresh glimmer will be given to the ongoing, seemingly unsolvable assassination of Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz) on Thursday, Nov. 18, when Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. moves to vacate the convictions of Norman 3X Butler, now Muhammad Aziz and Thomas 15X Johnson (Khalil Islam).

Both Aziz and Islam, who died in 2009, denied they had anything to do with shooting the esteemed leader that fateful afternoon at the Audubon Ballroom on Feb. 21, 1965. Talmadge Hayer or Thomas Hagan, and now Mujahid Abdul Halim, who confessed to the murder, testified that neither of them was at the scene of the crime.

In a sworn statement in 1977, Halim said that “Thomas 15 Johnson and Norman 3X Butler had nothing to do with this crime whatsoever.” Halim was given a life sentence back in 1966 and was paroled in 2010. He identified the other men who were part of the assassination but they were never arrested.

At the court date on Thursday, D.A. Vance is expected to elaborate on overturning the convictions. “These men did not get the justice they deserved,” he told the press. A Netflix documentary on “Who Killed Malcolm X?” had renewed a call to reinvestigate the murder, something the Innocence Project and a law firm had already begun. Aziz, 83, who has for years been fighting for justice and working with the Innocence Project, was released in 1985.

There were no responses from calls to the Nation of Islam, Malcolm’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz and Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, both of whom were featured in the Netflix documentary.

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  1. Good afternoon,

    My name is Pamela Reese Smith. I am a native of Harlem, I am an author, urban farmer, and community organizer in Rochester, New York.

    I have been working in my life story which had a huge portion centered in my growing up from 1960 through 1977.

    I write to you to ask if you can guide me on how to get permission to use Amsterdam newspapers and or photos. during this time. Some of them will have certain significant topics that I recall and I want to bring them to life in my story.

    Please let me know my next steps to accomplish this.

    Best of regards,
    Pamela Reese Smith

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