[Ppnews] Dr. Mutulu Shakur - Dec. 2007 Parole Report

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Jan 9 10:34:25 EST 2008


Dr. Mutulu Shakur - Dec. 2007 Parole Report

TO: Friends and Supporters of Dr. Mutulu Shakur
FROM: Teri Thompson, Attorney
RE: Interim Parole Hearing

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.

Conclusion

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.



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