TO: Friends and Supporters of Dr. Mutulu Shakur
FROM: Teri Thompson, Attorney
RE: Interim Parole Hearing – December 2007
The Interim Parole Hearing for Dr. Shakur was held on December 11, 2007 at USP-Florence ADMAX. Mutulu and I thank each of you for your letters, prayers and support. Below is my report of the Hearing.
[History of the Case]
Federal law provides, in relevant part, that a federal inmate who is eligible for parole may be released on parole after completion of one-third of his prison term or after 10 years of any sentence over 30 years. Dr. Shakur was eligible for parole in 1996. However, his efforts to have a parole hearing in 1996 were blocked by various forces.
In 2002, an Initial Parole Hearing was finally convened. The Parole Commission denied parole to Dr. Shakur and ordered a 15 year reconsideration date. Therefore, Dr. Shakur is not eligible for parole reconsideration until 2017. We have always maintained that because of the 6 year delay, Dr. Shakur should be eligible for parole in 2011.
In 2004, we filed a Petition of Writ of Habeas Corpus in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia to address, inter alia, the six year delay in having a parole hearing (from 1996 to 2002). Despite our legal battles which ultimately took us to the United States Supreme Court, the highest court declined to hear our case in 2006.
Even though Dr. Shakur was given a 15 year “hit” in 2002, federal law provides Interim Parole Hearings every 2 years. In 2005, after the Interim Parole Hearing, the Parole Commission refused to acknowledge the 6 year delay, and maintained that Dr. Shakur would not be eligible again for parole until 2017.
[2007 Interim Parole Hearing]
On December 11, 2007,the Interim Parole Hearing was held at the country’s most isolated dungeon, USP-Florence, or “Supermax,” as it is commonly referred to, located in the mountains of Florence, Colorado. There is absolutely no human contact or interaction. In fact, our Hearing was held inside of an attorney’s booth; Dr. Shakur was separated by glass and handcuffed.
The Hearing Officer began by reciting the standard rules of Interim Parole Hearings: To determine whether there have been any rule changes and to review any and all “positive and negative adjustments” since the 2005 Interim Parole Hearing.
Ironically, the Hearing Officer commented that the recent allegations that are documented in the two disciplinary reports that Dr. Shakur received which resulted in his transfer to the Supermax facility were “minor infractions” in his opinion. He further stated that Dr. Shakur’s transfer to Supermax was also “not significant” and the fact that we were convened inside of the Supermax facility was not relevant to his decision.
We argued again for the record that the 6-year delay from 1996 to 2002 was unlawful and that Dr. Shakur should have a parole reconsideration date of 2011, rather than 2017. The Hearing Officer stated that he was bound by the previous decision of the Parole Commission.
We also argued that the recent allegations contained in the recent disciplinary reports were false and that we were actively appealing each allegation through all available administrative channels. We also maintained that the transfer to Supermax was unjustified.
We raised each of the positive contributions made by Dr. Shakur at USP-Atlanta and USP-Coleman, highlighting his continuous service to rebuilding men. We also covered his detailed plans for release and reentry into society.
While the Hearing Officer appeared attentive and impressed by our presentation, Interim Parole Hearings generally serve to review an inmate’s file and to determine whether there is enough evidence to modify the 15 year “hit.” The Hearing Officer noted that while he found no cause to change the previous decision, the final decision, referred to as a Notice of Action, will be released in approximately 30 days. We will appeal any adverse decision.
I have been proud to serve as Dr. Shakur’s attorney over the years despite the number of legal battlefields we have encountered. I encourage each of you to continue to support him in the midst of such times as these. Every single letter counts; I was proud to introduce over 20 letters from various supporters throughout the country and from all walks of life to the Hearing Officer. They will be a part of his file in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Shakur extends his gratitude and love to each one of you. Dr. Shakur remains a bulwark of strength and a never-ending diplomat for peace.
ABOUT THE CASE
Dr. Shakur was sentenced in 1988 on charges of Conspiracy to aid bank expropriation as well as under the U. S. conspiracy laws known as “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization” or ‘RICO’ laws (8 counts). The U.S. government alleged that Mutulu’s political associates constituted a racketeering enterprise. He was also charged with aiding in the escape of Assata Shakur (Joanne Chesimard). Prosecutors failed to provide key evidence such as electronic telephone interceptions, fingerprints, hair, or eyewitness identification of Mutulu at any crime scene by any third party, etc.
His efforts in the black community have been essential and liberating. Dr. Mutulu Shakur’s contributions include but are not limited to:
• Employment at the Lincoln Detoxification Community (addiction treatment) Program as acupuncturist, counselor, and political education instructor.
• Managing a detoxification program recognized as the largest and most effective of its kind by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, National Acupuncture Research Society and the World Academic Society of Acupuncture.
• Treating thousands of poor and elderly patients who would otherwise have no access to acupuncture treatment.
• Developing the anti-drug program for the Charles Cobb Commission for Racial Justice for the National Council of Churches.
• Dedicating his life and struggle against the political imprisonment of Black Political Activists.
Please take the time to recognize a leader in the community and help fight for his freedom. Address the letters to:
Edward F. Reilly Jr.
Chairman, U.S. Parole Commission
5550 Friendship Blvd, Suite 420
Chevy Chase, MD 20815-7201
Please include the federal government’s identification number for Dr. Shakur: 83205-012