The U.S. Parole Commission granted his request for parole in October — after denying two prior requests in 2016 and in April — in order for Shakur, who has cancer, to spend his remaining days with family.
The commission determined that Shakur’s health had “significantly deteriorated,” which they said rendered him “infirm of mind and body” and “no longer physically capable of committing any federal, state or local crime,” per the New York Daily News.
Shakur, 72, was diagnosed with stage-3 multiple myeloma, a blood cancer which can damage the immune system, bones and kidneys, according to NBC News. Due to his health issues, he was being held at a federal medical center in Lexington, Kentucky.
Following his release, Shakur’s family issued a statement on his website that read: “Mutulu is now with his family. This victory was secured by the steadfast support of his legal team, his family and his community comprised of all of you. … We ask that everyone respect Dr. Shakur’s privacy while he spends the holidays with his family and concentrates on his health and healing.”
Shakur was arrested in 1986 and convicted in 1988 for leading a rogue group of self-proclaimed revolutionaries through a series of robberies in New York and Connecticut, which resulted in the deaths of an armed guard and two officers. He was also previously listed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.
Last year, the families of the three slain men held a memorial to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the loss of their loved ones in Nyack, New York, The Journal News reported.
“The pain and emotion never go away,” Michael Paige, whose father Peter Paige was killed in a robbery, said at the ceremony. “Oct. 20 is the hardest day of the year for my family. Coming here lets us know we’re not alone and the three men’s sacrifices were not in vain.”
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As part of his release, Shakur was ordered not to have contact with any of the family members of those who died from the robberies or his sister Assata Shakur, who is a fugitive from the law, according to the New York Daily News.