So within a week John Hinckley Jr., who attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan, and Thomas Hagan, who was part of the assassination killing of Malcolm X are both being released.
The only man ever to admit involvement in the assassination of Malcolm X was freed on parole Tuesday, 45 years after he helped gun down the civil rights leader.
Thomas Hagan was the last man still serving time in the 1965 killing, part of the skein of violence that wound through the cultural and political upheaval of the 1960s. He was freed from a Manhattan prison where he spent two days a week under a work-release program.
Hagan, 69, has repeatedly expressed sorrow for being one of the gunmen who fired on Malcolm X, killing one of the civil rights era’s most polarizing and compelling figures. One of the groups dedicated to Malcolm X’s memory condemned Hagan’s parole………..
The assassins gunned down Malcolm X out of anger at his split with the leadership of the Nation of Islam, the black Muslim movement for which he had once served as a prominent spokesman, said Hagan, then known as Talmadge X Hayer. Malcolm X had spoken out against its leader, Elijah Muhammad, in comments that some of Muhammad’s followers denounced as slander.
At the time, “I thought I was fighting for truth and right,” Hagan said in a 1977 sworn statement that aimed, unsuccessfully, to get his co-defendants’ convictions overturned.