NEW YORK (HPD) — New York City is settling lawsuits on behalf of two men who were exonerated last year for the 1965 murder of Malcolm X, agreeing to pay $26 million for the wrongful convictions that led them both to spend decades Behind bars,
The state of New York will pay an additional $10 million. David Shanies, an attorney representing both men, confirmed the agreements Sunday.
“Muhammad Aziz, Khalil Islam, and their families suffered for more than 50 years due to these wrongful convictions,” Sanies said in an email. “The city recognized the serious injustices that were committed and I applaud the sincerity and speed with which the Comptroller’s Office and the Law Council acted to resolve the lawsuits.”
Shanies said the settlements send a message that “police and prosecutorial misconduct causes tremendous harm, and we must remain vigilant to identify and correct injustices.”
A Manhattan judge last year threw out the convictions of Aziz, now 84, and Islam, who died in 2009, after prosecutors said new evidence of witness intimidation and exculpatory suppression had undermined the case against them. . Then-District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. apologized for “serious and unacceptable violations of the law and the public trust” by law enforcement authorities.”
The New York City Law Department said Sunday through a spokesman that it “agrees” with Vance’s view that the men were wrongfully convicted and that the financial settlement “provides some justice to individuals who spent decades in prison.” and they carry the stigma of being falsely accused of murdering an iconic figure.”
Shanies said the settlement documents will be signed in the coming weeks and that the New York probate court will have to approve the settlement to Islam’s family. The $36 million will be split equally between Aziz and Islam’s relatives.