Mutulu Shakur, the Black liberation movement elder, former political prisoner and stepfather to the late rapper and actor Tupac Shakur, has died at 72.

Shakur is resting in the care of his family and will continue his medical treatment.

Hundreds of faith leaders signed an open letter calling for redemption and salvation, noting Shakur's ongoing incarceration serves no valid public purpose. 

With his rapidly deteriorating health, Shakur's legal team filed an emergency request for compassionate release at the end of June.

In some ways, by refusing to release the dying Black leader, federal authorities have effectively converted his "punishment" to a death sentence.

The continued effort to keep Acoli behind bars seems directly tied to the highly political nature of Shakur's case and remaining outside of the reach of U.S. authorities.  

Monifa Bandele of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement shared that aging prisoners like Shakur are having their requests for compassionate release blocked despite having multiple health issues in the middle of an ongoing public health crisis

Two longtime activists argue that the executive clemency process itself has historically shown patterns of racial bias; and that the same holds true even during the Obama presidency.

With President Obama's tenure winding down, many are wondering whether he will use his constitutional powers to grant federal clemencies before he leaves office.