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Mutulu Shakur, Tupac’s Stepfather, Granted Compassionate Release from Federal Prison After 36 Years

Tupac’s Black Panther stepfather, Mutulu Shakur, to be released from Federal prison.

The man who helped raise rapper Tupac Shakur will be released from a federal prison within a month. The Black Panther leader had been incarcerated for almost four decades but will get a taste of freedom after receiving a compassionate release due to a progressive form of blood cancer.

Mutulu Shakur, Tupac's Stepfather, Granted Compassionate Release from Federal Prison After 36 Years
Tupac’s stepfather Mutulu Shakur receives compassionate release (Credit: Democracy Now)

Mutulu Shakur will be released from a federal medical center in Lexington, Kentucky, on Friday, Dec. 16, after the U.S. Parole Commission approved a request by his team.

The activist is afflicted with a plethora of health issues, but his most pressing is a stage-3 multiple myeloma diagnosis, according to court documents seen by NBC News.

While the decision was made by the federal agency in October, the news was released on Thursday, Nov. 10.

This manifesto is a code of honor for people in the streets. Some mantras the two offered that can be applied to all spaces, are “Your word must be your bond,” “In Unity, there is strength,” “Harm to children will not be forgiven,” and “Know your target, who’s the real enemy.”

Supporters of the elder Shakur were ecstatic about the news.

Jomo Muhammad, an organizer within the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, said, the community of supporters had “tears of joy” streaming after hearing about the decision.

“There are a lot of tears of joy,” Muhammad said. “There’s still disbelief because we were steadying ourselves for another denial.”

Shakur had been incarcerated since 1986, before his 1988 conviction for a 1981 armed robbery and triple slaying in connection with a $1.6 million heist of a Brink’s armored car in New Jersey.  

According to his website, “Dr. Shakur was convicted of RICO conspiracy, armed bank robbery, and bank robbery killings and sentenced to 60 years in prison.”

“At no time did the evidence show that Dr. Shakur killed anyone,” his team argues.

“At two trials the evidence indicated others were responsible for the deaths (one of which became a government witness in return for a sentencing deal). The remaining defendants were acquitted of the murder allegations presented by the government.”

Mutulu’s conviction was separate from his wife, Afeni Shakur (Tupac’s mother), 1971 conviction — where she was charged with conspiring to kill police officers and bomb police stations. 

She and 20 other members of the Panther 21 faction of the Black Panthers, including her first husband Lumumba Shakur, were put on trial and she faced up to 350 years in prison before successfully representing herself at trial.

During her closing remarks, according to records, she said, “I would appreciate it if you end this nightmare because I’m tired of it and I can’t justify it in my mind. There’s no logical reason for us to have gone through the last two years as we have, to be threatened with imprisonment because somebody somewhere is watching and waiting to justify being a spy.”

Shakur’s defense was not as successful. After being convicted and incarcerated for over 36 years, Shakur had been denied parole nine times. His last parole rejection was after his diagnosis with multiple myeloma, which now he is in Stage 3.

His team filed a lawsuit against the Parole Commission and the Bureau of Prisons pressing that the denial was unjust. With persistence, the team and the national agencies have come to terms with a just resolution.

“Now folks are excited about being able to reunite Mutulu with his family. We were crying together. It’s a long time overdue.”

In addition to his cancer, Shakur has had COVID at least twice since the pandemic. His attorney Brad Thomson says he lost a lot of weight because of his various illnesses and treatments and has been on and off IV feeding tubes since May.

Physicians with the Federal Bureau of Prisons told the lawyer Shakur last May, he has less than six months to live and that his cancer treatment is no longer working.

Still, despite the progression of the disease, he will not be released swiftly. But will wait another month and then will be monitored for up to four months after the release.

Loved ones are not concentrating on that fact. Instead, they are working to secure the best medical care for him and make  Shakur’s last days comfortable.

Shakur was predeceased by Afeni’s death in 2016 and Tupac’s in 1996.

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