The week of October 10th, a petition for clemency for Dr. Mutulu Shakur was submitted to President Barack Obama. The review will be conducted during the months of October and November. Effective January 1, 2017, President Barack Obama will cede his authority to the incumbent presidential candidate.
The acts of which Dr. Shakur stands convicted were committed in the context of a movement some forty to fifty years ago seeking equal treatment of black people who, it is widely recognized today, were suffering catastrophically from disenfranchisement, poverty and exclusion from many of the fundamental necessities that make life worth living. Black school children were being killed in church bombings. Black and other civil rights leaders were targeted for assassination. Law enforcement, through the COINTELPRO program, infiltrated a wide range of organizations and civil rights groups disrupting their activities and, as Congressional investigation later discovered, often causing violent reactions. In that era, black youth were paralyzed with fear that smothered their dreams, they doubted their life expectancy, and were forced to submit to abuse, runaway or challenge the threat.
Dr. Shakur has served over thirty years in custody, been unjustly denied parole eight times in a documented discriminatory manner, taken full responsibility for his actions, served as a force for good and alternative dispute mechanisms throughout his decades of incarceration, is an elder with multiple health complications, and has a loving family that needs him, even moreso after his former wife, Afeni Shakur, passed away in May. Upon release, he will continue to inspire people to seek self-improvement through peaceful and constructive means, as he has done while incarcerated, as he did with his late son Tupac.
In his own words, “For many years I have been a staunch advocate for the establishment of a truth and reconciliation process to address issues of racial and economic disparities. I have been influenced by examples in South Africa, Latin America, Northern Ireland and here in the United States of efforts at restorative justice through the pursuit of truth and reconciliation …
I cannot undo the violence and tragedy that took place more than thirty years ago. But for several decades while incarcerated I have dedicated myself to being a healer, spreading a message of reconciliation and justice, and playing a positive role in the lives of those I come into contact with, in and out of prison …
This country is not the same country it was at the time of my conviction and I have lived long enough to understand the changes the country and I have undergone. I will always care about freedom and equality for black Americans, marginalized people and the lower classes in this country and abroad. The struggle was never about me, but for the will of the people.”
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People who support Dr. Mutulu Shakur. People who are aware of his works and share similar ideals and values. People who believe in Truth and Reconciliation and constitutional Due Process.
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