Activists are working to keep Tupac Shakur’s stepfather from dying of cancer in prison

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Organizers have launched a movement to free Tupac Shakur’s stepfather from a decades-long prison sentence as he faces a rare form of leukemia that his doctors say cannot be cured.

Mutulu Shakur, an activist and holistic healthcare advocate, has been behind bars for more than 35 years and now, at 71, has several health issues, most notably stage 3 multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that can affect the bones and kidneys.

Shakur suffered from severe weight loss due to his illnesses and treatments. He contracted Covid at least twice; His attorney, Brad Thompson, said he has relied on intravenous feeding tubes being turned on and off since May. Thompson said doctors at the Federal Bureau of Prisons gave Shakur less than six months to live in May, noting that his cancer treatment had stopped working.

“His health is pretty dire right now. He’s very much on the end-of-life path. We’re looking at a matter of months at the most, but realistically, it could be a matter of days or weeks,” Thompson told NBC News. The stage, the problem is to release him so that he can say goodbye to his loved ones, family, children and grandchildren. To be surrounded by his loved ones, to die with dignity, peace and comfort outside prison.”

Thompson said Shakur was diagnosed with myeloma in 2019, and his legal team requested his “compassionate release” in May 2020. U.S. District Judge Charles Hite Jr. in November 2020 denied Shakur’s request, saying his crimes were extremely serious, and that his health had not deteriorated significantly. enough to justify the release.

In the ruling obtained by NBC News, Haight said: “If Shakur’s condition develops further, to the point of near death, he can apply again to the court, for a release that can be justified in such circumstances as ‘compassionate’.” .

Hight spokesman, who also presided over the 1988 case Who put Shakur in jail for bank robbery and other crimes, told NBC News that a new request for Shakur’s release is pending and the judge is awaiting guidance from the US Attorney’s office before making a decision. Shakur is being held at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington, a Kentucky prison for incarcerated people who need care.

Shakur is serving a 60-year prison sentence for his 1988 conviction of conspiracy to violate the Influential and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO Act, bank robbery, armed bank robbery, and bank robbery murder. He was convicted of leading a group of revolutionaries in a series of armed robberies in New York and Connecticut, including one that left three people dead. He was also convicted of helping JoAnne Chesimard, aka Assata Shakur, escape from a New Jersey prison in 1979, According to the Associated Press, and Thomson.

But Shakur and his supporters say the actions were political rather than criminal in nature. Jomo Muhammed, organizer with Malcolm X Popular Movement Work on editing Shakur as well Shakur’s friends and familyHe said his imprisonment was linked to black liberation efforts and his work with black nationalist revolutionary groups in the 1960s, including Revolutionary Action Movement And the New African Republic.

Muhammad said Shakur is used as an example because of his activism. At that time in 1986 Arrest Muhammad said he was conducting his own independent investigation into COINTELPRO, an FBI campaign to discredit extremist groups including the black liberation movements that were deemed illegal.

“Fifty years later, the United States government still holds a grudge,” Muhammad said. “You could say that he is, in fact, a political prisoner.”

Besides being a respected activist, Shakur is called the “Doctor” among his family and supporters. He was praised for his work in providing comprehensive health care to black communities in the Bronx in the 1970s. He studied acupuncture informally and joined many other activists, in groups such as the Black Panthers and Young Lordsto me Take part in Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx She runs the Lincoln Detox Center, a community center that uses acupuncture to treat drug addiction and offers political education that has spawned many community activists, According to the Washington Post,.

A group of religious leaders and supporters of Shakur They gathered on Wednesday in front of the US Department of Justice At a rally, the Parole Committee, the Bureau of Prisons and the US Department of Justice urged Shakur’s release. Supporters of the march said that Shakur is confined to a wheelchair and that his brain function has deteriorated to the point where he barely recognized his son during his visit two months ago.

They claim that it is a danger to public safety, a danger to society, and that it has the ability to influence people. They are not talking about the fact that he is 71 years old. “They’re not talking about the fact that he’s been in detention for 36 years,” Nakshi Taifa, founder of Taifa Group, a consultancy focused on social justice, said of the federal agencies.

A spokesperson for the Bureau of Prisons declined to comment on Shakur’s health, but said in an emailed statement: “The BOP does not have direct authority to grant a reduction in an inmate’s sentence as a measure of self-release. At all times, the decision on whether to approve such a proposal – whether it is submitted” On behalf of the director of the BOP, or on behalf of the inmate himself – it is the responsibility of the court that issued the sentence. ” The spokesman added that the office could recommend the release of a person. They didn’t do that to Shakur.

Shakur’s release was denied Several times over the yearsThompson said, although due to “different time credits,” his mandatory release is scheduled for December 2024. But Thompson, doctors and Shakur’s supporters say he is unlikely to live that long. Shakur was eligible for release at a mandatory 2016 hearing, but was denied.

Thompson said Hite’s assertion that it was the seriousness of Shakur’s crimes that delayed his release should not hold up because Shakur’s defendant, Marilyn Buck, who was convicted of the same charges, was mercifully released in July 2010. She died of uterine cancer just weeks later.

This is exactly the situation that Dr. Shakur is now facing. “We’re asking for the same comfort,” Thompson said. “Everyone who was accused in that conspiracy and overlapping conspiracies, all of these people have been released from federal custody.”

Shakur’s latest request for release is expected to see a resolution in the coming weeks. Although they are optimistic, Muhammad said that he and Shakur’s advocates would be devastated if Shakur dies in prison.

This is a clear injustice. Muhammad said: No matter what he did in the past, for which he took responsibility, he should be free. We will continue to fight. There is a lot of justice that needs to happen. Lots of liberating and healing people, which is what Doc’s work was all about. We were mourning our beloved sheikh and we would do what we were commanded, which is to go straight ahead.”

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