Dr. Mutulu Shakur – It is time for his release
Dr. Shakur received his ninth parole denial in January 2021. After being diagnosed with life-threatening bone cancer yet denied compassionate release, his lawsuit against the US Parole Commission and the Bureau of Prisons for unjust denials was expedited. We need your support as we pursue all avenues to improve Dr. Shakur’s fate!
Dr. Shakur has been a federal prisoner since 1986. He has taken full responsibility for his actions, served as a force for good and anti-violence throughout his decades of incarceration, is an elder and has multiple health complications, has a loving family that needs him, and upon release will continue to inspire people to seek self-improvement through peaceful and constructive means, as he has done while incarcerated.
The acts of which Dr. Shakur was convicted some thirty years ago were committed in the context of a movement seeking equal opportunities for Black people who, it is widely conceded, were suffering catastrophically from disenfranchisement, segregation, poverty and exclusion from many of the fundamental necessities that make life worth living.
Dr. Shakur participated in civil rights, Black liberation and acupuncture healthcare all as part of movements of the late 1960s to the 1980s. It was a period of civil conflict in which millions of Americans participated in social movements for justice and freedom.
In 1988 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. 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. At the time Dr. Shakur was a well-known acupuncturist using his skills to address rampant drug addiction among young Black people. He was a co-founder of the Republic of New Afrika movement, participated in presentations to the United Nations on discrimination experienced by Black communities throughout the U.S. and by 1970 was a subject of the FBI’s illegal COINTELPRO infiltration program.
Dr. Shakur has accepted full responsibility for the acts that resulted in his conviction and for many years has expressed the deepest remorse for those who were killed and their families pleading that there is no justification for the loss of life for the victims. For over twenty-five years, Dr. Shakur has been a leading voice in the Black community calling for peace, reconciliation and healing for the countless lives lost in pursuit of basic justice and human rights.
Dr. Shakur has for many years publicly suggested that a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (“TRC”) of elected officials, faith-based and community activists and experts be convened to explore racial disparities and how to seriously address these issues through a peaceful, alternative dispute mechanism utilizing democratic process.
The 2020 documentary film, Dope is Death, and the associated podcast elucidates Dr. Shakur's healing work and part of what led up to his legal case: