After 36 years in prison, Mutulu Shakur, has been granted compassionate release from prison with just months to live.
Black liberation activist Mutulu Shakur, who is 72, is being released from prison on compassionate release amid his declining health. On Thursday (November 10), The Intercept reported that Shakur, who was stepfather to the late 2Pac, was given permission to live his final days by the U.S. Parole Commission. The elder was recently diagnosed with bone marror cancer, with Bureau of Prisons doctor announcing in May that Shakur has less than six months to live.
Shakur was previously denied prison release ten times until an October hearing, where the federal parole commission said he had a clean institutional record and was no longer considered a risk to society. One month prior, Shakur’s parole was denied despite his terminal cancer ailment. Medical reports explained that Shakur suffered from a decline in cognitive and motor function, along with confusion and hallucinations.
Shakur is set to spend his remaining days in Southern California with his friends and family.
“We are relieved that the Parole Commission now recognizes what has long been true — that Dr. Shakur’s release poses no risk whatsoever,” said one of Shakur’s attorneys, Brad Thomson of the People’s Law Office. “It is tragic that it took until he was on the verge of death for that truth to finally be realized.”
In 1981, Shakur was convicted of racketeering conspiracy charges for his involvement in the robbery of a Brink’s armored truck, where a guard and two police officers were killed. Shakur was later convicted of 2Pac’s activist godmother, Assata Shakur, escape from prison in 1979.
Shakur was incarcerated under “old law,” a list of federal sentencing guidelines in place for crimes taken place before 1987. His parole decisions have been under the error of the U.S. Parole Commission, as the “old set” was due to be phased out decades ago. A 90-year-old judge who rejected Shakur’s request for compassionate release in 2020 told the elder he could reapply at “the point of approaching death.” The same judge sentenced Shakur over 30 years ago.