The two men convicted of assassinating Malcom X in 1965 were exonerated Thursday after a 22-month investigation found that evidence of their innocence, including FBI documents, was withheld at trial.
Muhammad A. Aziz and the late Khalil Islam spent the last half-century fighting for their freedom before New York County Supreme Court Administrative Judge Ellen Biben granted the motion to vacate their convictions Thursday.
Islam died in 2009. Aziz, now 83 years old, addressed the court Thursday.
“The events that brought us to court today should never have occurred. Those events were and are the result of a process that was corrupt to its core, one that is all too familiar to black people in 2021,” Aziz said. “I hope the same system that was responsible for this travesty of justice also takes responsibility for the immeasurable harm caused to me during the last 55 or 56 years.”
“I regret that this court cannot fully undo the serious miscarriages of justice in this case and give you back the many years that were lost,” Biben said in her ruling before the court erupted in applause.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, who handled the investigation, spoke following the ruling.
“I apologize for what were serious, unacceptable violations of law and the public trust,” Vance said. “I apologize on behalf of our nation’s law enforcement for this decades-long injustice which has eroded public faith in institutions that are designed to guarantee equal protection under law.”
Vance continued, “Your honor, we can’t restore what was taken away from these men and their families, but by correcting the records, perhaps we can begin to restore that faith.”
Attorney David B. Shanies said Aziz and Islam “experienced the agony of decades in prison for a crime they did not commit. They were robbed of their freedom in the prime of their lives and branded the killers of a towering civil rights leader.”
Watch the reactions below.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance told a New York state court that new exculpatory evidence uncovered during a two-years-long investigation had made it clear that Muhammad Aziz and Khalil Islam were wrongfully convicted for murdering Malcolm X https://t.co/iLHq94tCrG pic.twitter.com/K8IaZYY6x0
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 18, 2021
A historic motion filed in a New York Supreme courtroom Thursday exonerated the accused two men previously convicted in connection with the murder of Malcolm X.https://t.co/dJUJwJb4zU
— amNewYork (@amNewYork) November 18, 2021
As a result of our Netflix series “Who Killed Malcolm X?”, tomorrow the US history books will be rewritten when two men wrongfully convicted for the assassination of Malcolm X will be exonerated after 55 years, a historic milestone!!
— Abdur-Rahman Muhammad (@arm_legacy) November 17, 2021
Muhammad Aziz, one of two men wrongfully convicted of the murder of Malcolm X, said the decision to throw out the verdict against him 56 years after the assassination could not eliminate the decades he had lost. https://t.co/37Xdi6eqcM pic.twitter.com/8qob6Ao2Qw
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 18, 2021
BREAKING: Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam (d.2009), both wrongly convicted of the assassination of Malcolm X, have finally been exonerated. Muhammad and Khalil spent a combined 42 years in prison.
— The Innocence Project (@innocence) November 18, 2021
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Every House Republican But One Just Voted to Shut Down the Federal Government
212 House Republicans – all who voted but one – voted to shut down the entire federal government Thursday evening. It was an act that would have massive implications for many Americans, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, amid the emergence of a new variant, and as the holiday travel season quickly approaches.
The continuing resolution passed 221-212 thanks solely to Democrats and Republican Adam Kinzinger.
U.S. House PASSES CR funding government through February 18, 2022, 221-212.
Goes now to the U.S. Senate.
Current spending authority expires Friday at Midnight ET. pic.twitter.com/HGANxhoOCF
— CSPAN (@cspan) December 2, 2021
Republican U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia “was speaking for virtually her entire conference,” Axios reporter Andrew Solender said in a tweet, when she demanded, “shut it down.”
“This government should be shut down,” Greene angrily cried . “Do not pass this CR. Shut it down.”
“Because the people in here cannot control themselves,” she continued, claiming they “don’t understand how to balance a checkbook.”
The crisis is not yet over. The bill now heads to the U.S. Senate, where a small group of Republicans, and currently it appears Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, are demanding Democrats “defund” President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate.
Watch: Marjorie Taylor Greene Calls for Government Shutdown Because ‘The People in Here Cannot Control Themselves’
Congress has about 30 hours to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to allow the federal government to stay open past Friday midnight. And while nearly everyone is on board, from President Joe Biden to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, some powerful members of Congress are trying to prevent the CR from passing.
They include Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who oppose vaccine mandates and are trying to include an amendment to “defund” President Biden’s executive order.
And then there’s Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who just wants to shut it down.
Literally, those were her words: “shut it down.”
“This government should be shut down,” Greene said minutes ago on the House floor, as Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman reports. “Do not pass this CR. Shut it down.”
Why is Greene demanding a full federal government shutdown?
“Because the people in here cannot control themselves,” declared Greene, who was stripped of all her committee assignments almost immediately upon being sworn in to Congress. “The people in here don’t understand how to balance a checkbook.”
“This government should be shut down.”
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) rails against the national debt and endorses a government shutdown. pic.twitter.com/NhP7aFOObl
— The Recount (@therecount) December 2, 2021
According to information from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget shutting down the federal government could force TSA and air traffic controllers to work without pay, and could halt new applications for federal assistance like Medicare, and halt EPA and FDA inspections – possibly leading to massive illness on top of the coronavirus pandemic, amid the emergence of the new omicron variant.
That’s just for starters.
New mortgage and loan approvals could be halted as the IRS would be unable to verify Social Security numbers, and people who receive food stamps could lose that vital source of funds.
Joe Manchin Appears to Be Siding With Republicans Who Are Pushing to Shut Down the Government Over Vaccine Mandates
‘Quickly Turning Into a Joe Manchin Rodeo’
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is being described as the necessary and “most likely” the “51st vote” for shutting down the federal government over President Joe Biden’s vaccine “mandate.” Republicans, especially Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, are working to pass an amendment that would ban vaccine mandates nationwide, in exchange for voting to keep the federal government open, just weeks before Christmas.
Sen. Mike Lee, a far right pro-Trump Christian conservative from Utah, “wants an amendment to strip money from vax mandates at 50-vote threshold.” says Punchbowl News co-founder Jake Sherman. “If he gets it, he’ll consent to speed up proceedings, which would likely — almost certainly — avoid a shutdown.”
If he doesn’t, it’s possible the federal government could shut down on Friday.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) joins the growing list of Republicans who are calling to shut down the government over vaccine-or-testing mandates. pic.twitter.com/ffMddGpT1A
— The Recount (@therecount) December 2, 2021
The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis says “as with most things round these parts, this is quickly turning into a Joe Manchin rodeo.”
CNN’s Manu Raju adds that Sen. Manchin “doesn’t rule out supporting [an] amendment to DEFUND vaccine mandate on businesses. This is why Republican Sens. Marshall and Lee are demanding a 51-vote threshold. Says he backs mandate on feds but tells us he’s ‘less enthused’ with business mandate.”
At CNN Raju and other reporters explain the situation:
Key negotiators from both parties announced a plan Thursday morning that would keep the federal government funded, but due to Senate rules governing procedure, all 100 senators would need to agree in order to quickly pass the plan before Friday, and a handful of GOP senators are standing by their threats to delay the process over the vaccine rules.
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