Malcolm X's Killer Paroled

The only man who admitted to gunning down Malcolm X in New York's Audubon Ballroom in 1965 has been freed. Since 1992, Thomas Hagan, 69, visited jail two days a week and was allowed to spend the rest of the week with his family in Brooklyn. Due to the efficiency and speed with which his paperwork was processed, Hagan was actually released a day earlier than expected. Of the assassination, Hagan said, "I have deep regrets about my participation in that...I don't think it should ever have happened." At the time of the murder, Hagan was a member of the Nation if Islam, and was upset that Malcolm X had split with the group. Hagan promised the parole board that upon release he would do right by his family and become a substance abuse counselor. Some question the leniency of Hagan's sentence: "I personally find it strange that for a couple decades any person convicted in the assassination of such an iconic figure would be allowed such leniency," said Zead Ramadan, board chairman of the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center.