In July, Muhammad A. Aziz, one of the men exonerated in the murder of Malcolm X last year, sued the city of New York and former law enforcement officials involved in the murder investigation years ago for $40 million.
Now, nearly four months later, New York City has agreed to pay $26 million to settle lawsuits that were filed on behalf of Aziz and Khalil Islam, the other man exonerated, according to the New York Times.
Convicted in the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965, Aziz spent 22 years in prison and was paroled in 1985 and is currently 84 years old. Islam was released in 1987 and was posthumously exonerated as he died in 2009.
Both of their convictions were thrown out after an investigation that lasted nearly two years found that prosecutors, the FBI and the New York City Police Department withheld evidence that would have led to both Aziz and Islam not being convicted if it was shared during their trials, according to the New York Times.
Before they were convicted and after they were released, both men always maintained their innocence and claimed they had nothing to do with the assassination. Thomas Hagan confessed to being one of the gunmen in the murder of the civil rights activist and admitted both Aziz and Islam had no involvement in the shooting.
But, that still had no effect on both of the men’s convictions.
More from the New York Times:
“This settlement brings some measure of justice to individuals who spent decades in prison and bore the stigma of being falsely accused of murdering an iconic figure,” Nick Paolucci, a spokesman for the New York City Law Department, said in a statement.
“Based on our review,” Mr. Paolucci said, “this office stands by the opinion of former Manhattan district attorney Vance who stated, based on his investigation, that ‘there is one ultimate conclusion: Mr. Aziz and Mr. Islam were wrongfully convicted of this crime.’”
The $26 million settlement will be split evenly by Aziz and the estate of Islam, according to the New York Times.