There have been several reports lately that 65-year-old Dr Mutulu Shakur was freed on February 10, 2016, but the truth is he is still serving time and hoping the prosecution has a change of heart.
The social activist was sentenced to 60 years in prison for his part in the 1981 Brinks robbery, which resulted in the death of two police officers and a security guard. Along with others, Dr. Shakur allegedly stole $1.8 million during this robbery, which was meant to “fund the revolution.” Mutulu’s son Mopreme Shakur commented the confusion surrounding his father’s release is due to mishandling of the case and says that they are “dealing with that sh*t now.”
Shakur mentions that he was convicted under federal statute 4205(a), which states that prisoners serving a 45-year bid or longer are eligible for release after 30 years of good behavior. He also talks about how “to deny me release at this stage the Parole Commission must determine that I have either repeatedly or seriously violated the rules of the institution, or there exists a great probability that the inmate will commit any federal, state or local crime following his release.”
The prosecution are arguing that the severity of the crime negates the relevance of this statute and that it is a matter of public safety that keeps Shakur behind bars: “He was someone who was violent, responsible for death and terror for people living in the metropolitan region.” Mutulu maintains that the media never heard his side of the story and that he was painted to be a villain. He thinks that this is the reason why the Parole Board has not facilitated his early release.
Since serving 30 years at California’s Victorville Penitentiary, the practicing acupuncturist feels as though he has changed for the better and could easily re-integrate as a functioning member of society. He wants this transformation to inspire young people caught up in the criminal justice system to do better and be better. He speaks about how “incarceration can be a catalyst to produce individuals that emerge with a newfound moral compass. I have been privileged to witness that growth and development in many other prisoners throughout my incarceration.”
In the letter Mutulu penned on his website to dispel the confusion surrounding his freedom, he quotes his stepson Tupac (“we’ve come so far, but still have so far to go …”) and talks about Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly being an important message about transforming ourselves: “we must always remember that we can evolve and to have faith in the power of transformation, that has been evident throughout the saga of our journey.”
Shakur is currently appealing for letters to be sent to his defense team in support of his character ahead of his hearing in April, through which he hopes to be released. In the meantime, The Wire actor Jamie Hector is filming for the upcoming Tupac biopic All Eyez On Me in the role of Mutulu Shakur. Stay tuned for more updates on the case.