Tupac Shukur’s Setpfather Mutulu Shakur Details Life After Prison

Tupac Shukur’s Setpfather Mutulu Shakur Details Life After Prison

When Mutulu Shakur applied for compassionate release back in 2020, a judge said that Shakur was not close enough to death. At the time, the Black Liberation elder was 70 years old and had spent nearly half his life in federal prison.

Shakur was sick with hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, glaucoma, and the aftereffects of a 2013 stroke while in solitary confinement. He also faced high risks for severe COVID-19 complications. The cancer in his bone marrow, though, was not yet killing him fast enough. It was understood to be terminal, but chemotherapy treatment had been successful in keeping it at bay.

Well, after a long battle with the court system and 35 years in prison, Shakur was released from prison on December 16, 2022.

In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Shakur detailed life post-incarceration. ​​

“I’m so happy to be free,” Shakur said. “I fought hard every day that I was incarcerated. I have a lot to do, hoping that society gives me another swing at it. But my life is an example of what could happen. I am very hopeful.”

He said that he is being well taken care of as he spends his final days with family in Los Angeles. “I am receiving excellent care in two categories—Western oncology and holistic natural therapies. I don’t take this freedom for granted.”

Shakur, who served 36 years out of the 60 he was sentenced, said he’s happy to see his family thrive.

“It’s been a great, great day, in 38 years of life, that I have had an opportunity to hug and nestle with my six children and three grandchildren. I am so proud of them, that they have survived and are presently in good physical and, more importantly, mental strength in light of what my life has caused them. They’re very productive citizens that have not been tainted by the politics of my issues.”

Shakur was a member of the Black nationalist organization Republic of New Afrika, which worked closely with Black Panther Party members and New Left activists. He was convicted of racketeering conspiracy charges, alongside several Black liberationists and leftist allies, for his involvement in the 1981 robbery of an armored truck during which a guard and two police officers were killed. He was also convicted for aiding in the prison escape of Assata Shakur.

He has taken responsibility for his crimes and repeatedly expressed remorse for the lives lost and pain caused.

Shakur’s co-defendant, Kathy Boudin, a member of the radical Weather Underground of the 1960s and ’70s was freed in September 2003. While incarcerated, Boudin got a master’s degree in adult education and literacy from Norwich College. Five years after her release, she earned a doctorate from Teachers College at Columbia University. Post-prison, her work focused on present and former inmates, especially women, helping them get parole and preparing them for life on the outside, down to fundamentals like how to comport oneself in job interviews. She was also a founder of the Center for Justice at Columbia, exploring the social consequences of mass incarceration.

As for his other co-defendants, Judith Clark was paroled in 2019; David Gilbert, the driver of the U-Haul truck in the robberies, had his 75-years-to-life sentence commuted to time served of 40 years in August 2021; Sekou Odinga, aka Nathanael Burns, was released in 2009; Samuel Brown, aka Solomon Bouines, is serving 75 years to life, will be eligible for parole in 2056.