2Pac‘s stepfather Mutulu Shakur has been denied a “compassionate” release from federal prison even after a judge acknowledged that his health has worsened.
According to a report from VladTV on Tuesday (September 13), U.S. Senior District Judge Charles S. Haight wrote in an 11-page document that the First Step Act — which Shakur’s attorney cited to justify his release — doesn’t apply to any conviction that happened before November 1987.
Mutulu Shakur was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison in 1988 after he was convicted of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, bank robbery, armed bank robbery, bank robbery murder in 1984 as well as assisting 2Pac’s step-aunt Assata Shakur in her escape from a New Jersey prison in 1979.
“This is a difficult case. The government does not question the dire nature of Shakur’s present medical condition,” Haight wrote. “Shakur also submits testimonials which describe his rehabilitation in prison and humanitarian assistance he has rendered to other inmates.
“On the other hand, members of the family of the Brinks employee who was killed during the crimes of conviction have written to the Court, expressing their continuing grief and opposition to any reduction in Shakur’s sentence.”
In July, Shakur’s attorney Brad Thomson revealed the late rapper’s stepfather was diagnosed with a rare and incurable form of blood cancer. Doctors had given the 71-year-old up to six months to live, and fellow activists were fighting to get the former member of the Black Liberation Army released from prison so he could say his last goodbyes to his family.
“His health situation is extremely dire right now,” Thomson told NBC News. “He’s very much on an end-of-life trajectory. We’re looking at a matter of months at the most but, realistically, it could be a matter of days or weeks.”
Shakur applied for a “compassionate release” in May 2020 following his diagnosis, but Haight denied the request, claiming his health was still okay and that his crimes were extremely severe. Shakur is currently incarcerated at a federal medical center in Lexington, Kentucky.
“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 said in the ruling at the time via NBC News.
News of Shakur’s unsuccessful plea for compassionate release comes as the 26th anniversary of 2Pac’s death passed on Tuesday (September 13).
The Death Row Records rapper was shot on September 7, 1996, at the intersection of East Flamingo Road and Koval Lane in Sin City where Pac attended a Mike Tyson fight at the MGM Grand earlier in the night. He died in hospital six days later at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada.