Saturday, March 20, 2010

How Do You Parole Someone For Killing The Future?

A little-noted news item was espied today;

Killer of Malcolm X Granted Parole

Thomas Hagan has been held since moments after shots rang out in the Audubon Ballroom in 1965. He has been on work release for more than two decades, but he still spends two days a week locked up at the Lincoln Correctional Facility on West 110th Street in Manhattan.


Mr. Hagan, who turned 69 in jail on Tuesday, was a militant member of the Nation of Islam on Feb. 21, 1965, when Malcolm X was shot while giving a speech at the Audubon, in Washington Heights. Mr. Hagan, then known as Talmadge X. Hayer, was captured by the crowd and shot at and beaten before being rescued by the police.

Two other men, Muhammad Abdul Aziz (then known as Norman 3X Butler) and Kahlil Islam (then Thomas 15X Johnson), were also charged with the murder. They maintained their innocence. Mr. Hagan did not, testifying at his trial in 1966 that he was responsible for the murder and that his co-defendants were innocent.

All three men were sentenced to 20 years to life.

Count me on the side that would have liked to see these guys serve out the "to life" part of the sentence.

Setting aside the internal politics, and disputes, of the Nation of Islam, at the time, in killing Malcom (Little) X, they snuffed out a piece of the future, possibly incredible greatness for the common good, and that should have been considered before freeing any of his killers.

No comments: