Wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for 20 years and on parole for 36 years for the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965, Muhammad Aziz, then known as Norman 3X Butler, plans to sue both the state and the city of New York for as much as $60 million.
This aim for restitution comes after Aziz, and the late Khalil Islam (Thomas 15X Johnson) were exonerated last month and the apology by D.A. Cyrus Vance that the trial withheld evidence that could have freed the accused. Thanks to the Innocence Project, and Aziz’s attorney, David Shanies, the convictions against the two men—Islam was paroled in 1987 and died in 2009—were vacated. The other man charged and tried was Mujahid Halim (Thomas Hagan or Talmadge Hayer) who confessed his role in the crime and insisted the others were not part of the shooting at the Audubon Ballroom. There was no physical evidence linking them to the crime.
Shanies said that Aziz, 83, and paroled in 1985, will take legal action over the purported damage to his reputation. The claim against the state is $20 million with a $40 million claim against the city, unless a settlement is reached. There was no comment from the attorney general’s office.
Vance’s move to vacate the convictions stemmed in part from the relentless pursuit of Aziz and his allies, as well as a documentary on Netflix, “Who Killed Malcolm X?”