Tupac’s stepfather, Mutulu Shakur, is in declining health after battling a blood cancer for three years. As a result, advocates are actively pushing for Shakur to be released from prison.
Shakur has been incarcerated for over three decades. In 1988, Sharkur was convicted of bank robbery, armed bank robbery, conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and bank robbery murder. According to the Associated Press, he was also convicted of helping JoAnne Chesimard, also known as Assata Shakur, escape from a New Jersey prison in 1979.
Shakur’s attorney, Brad Thompson, said the former Black Liberation Army member has multiple myeloma. He was diagnosed in 2019. Thompson said the impact of the blood cancer can be seen on Shakur as he has drastically dropped in weight, and he sometimes requires a feeding tube in order to be nourished.
A few pics from yesterday’s action at the Dept of Justice demanding the compassionate release of Baba Mutulu Shakur. #FreeMutuluNOW #FreeMutuluShakur #FreeAllPPs #FreeAllPOWs pic.twitter.com/lXUVnJGqRN
— Prof KKC (@KaranjaKeita) July 21, 2022
Faith leaders in Washington, DC delivered a letter to the DOJ today seeking compassionate release for Black freedom fighter Mutulu Shakur, 71, who has stage 4 cancer & 6 months to live.
He has been unjustly jailed for 36 years. Free Mutulu Shakur! Free all political prisoners! pic.twitter.com/XdJp5lQEx9
— Party for Socialism and Liberation – Washington DC (@PSLdc) July 20, 2022
“His health situation is extremely dire right now. He’s very much on an end-of-life trajectory,” Thompson told NBC News. According to the prison’s medical staff, treatments to slow down his health’s deterioration no longer work. They believe Sharkur has roughly six months to live. “We’re looking at a matter of months at the most, but realistically it could be a matter of days or weeks. At this point, the issue is getting him released so he can say goodbye to his loved ones, his family, his children, and grandchildren. To be surrounded by loved ones, so he can die in dignity, peace and comfort outside of prison,” Thompson said.
Two years ago, Shakur was denied compassionate release by U.S. District Judge Charles Haight Jr. He said Shakur’s diagnosis did not warrant an early release as he remained in adequate health. Haight is the same judge who sentenced Shakur to 60 years in prison in 1988.
“Should it develop that Shakur’s condition deteriorates further, to the point of approaching death, he may apply again to the Court, for a release that in those circumstances could be justified as compassionate,” Haight told NBC News. Shakur is currently being housed at a federal medical facility in Lexington, Kentucky.