Mutulu Shakur, the stepfather of late rap icon 2Pac, has been granted a compassionate release from prison after serving 36 years behind bars. According to The Intercept, the 72-year-old, who was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer and is said to only have months left to live before succumbing to his condition, will spend his last days living in Southern California. The U.S. Parole Commission, which previously denied Shakur’s request for release, noted his stellar prison record, as well its belief that he’s no longer a danger to society.
“We now find your medical condition renders you so infirm of mind and body that you are no longer physically capable of committing any Federal, State or local crime,” the parole commission said during a hearing in October. Shakur’s legal team voiced their satisfaction with the commission’s decision, albeit noting that their client’s release was long overdue.
“We are relieved that the Parole Commission now recognizes what has long been true — that Dr. Shakur’s release poses no risk whatsoever,” expressed Brad Thomson, Shakur’s attorney. “It is tragic that it took until he was on the verge of death for that truth to finally be realized.” He continued, adding “Mutulu will now be able to live out his final days, surrounded by the love and care of his family and close friends.”
An activist and former Black Liberation Army member, Shakur was convicted of racketeering conspiracy charges in connection to the 1981 robbery of an armored Brinks truck. Two police officers and a guard were murdered during the incident. He was also implicated and convicted of assisting fellow activist Assata Shakur, the godmother of 2Pac, in escaping from prison in 1979. Shakur would go on the run for several years, but was later arrested in 1986 before being convicted in 1988.
The respected freedom fighter, who married 2Pac’s mother Afeni Shakur in 1975 before later divorcing, was spoken highly of by the late rapper. He mentioned Shakur several times on wax, including the songs “White Man’z World,” “Hold Ya Head,” “Words of Wisdom,” and “Letter to the President.”