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Tupac Shakur Trial: 1994-95 - Judge Imposes Prison Sentence

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The sentencing took place on February 8, 1995, and it was no less dramatic than the trial. The proceedings began with the victim explaining how the crime had affected her physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

"He took advantage of his stardom to abuse me and betray my trust," she declared. Since the attack, she said, she had been turned into the villain while Shakur "has been glorified by his peers and fans."

Shakur stared intently at his accuser while she spoke. When she finished, he stood and, with tears in his eyes, apologized, but it wasn't clear for what. "I'm not apologizing for a crime," he declared. "I hope in time you'll come forth and tell the truth—I am innocent."

Addressing Judge Fitzgerald before sentencing, Shakur virtually accused him and the court system of racism. "You never looked into my eyes. You never used the wisdom of Solomon. I always felt you had something against me."

Then, in an about-face, he addressed the youth of America. "I got so involved in my career that I didn't see this coming. I have no shame, I don't feel shame." This statement received a positive response from the many fans in attendance. At one point, a sheriff had to order a young woman back to her seat after she leaned over the railing and kissed the rap star on the cheek.

Justice Fitzgerald then addressed Shakur, "This was an act of brutal violence against a helpless woman." And with that he sentenced Shakur to 18 months to four and one-half years in prison. Noting that Fuller had no criminal record and that Shakur had been the instigator of the attack, Fitzgerald sentenced Fuller to four months in jail and five years probation.

Shakur served nearly eight months in prison and was released in October 1995. His trial and conviction was not a liability for Shakur's career, however. Soon after his release, Shakur was given acting roles in two films, Gridlock'd and Gang Related—both of which would be released after his death. The first album released after his prison term, All Eyez on Me, debuted at number 1 on the Billboard album charts, and went on to sell over five million copies.

Shakur's musical and acting careers appeared to be on the rise. Then, on September 7, 1996, he was shot in Las Vegas, Nevada, shortly after leaving a Mike Tyson fight. He would later die of his wounds on September 13. Although the shooting took place on the very public Las Vegas main strip, no one has ever been arrested for his murder.

Penelope Petzold and

Ron Formica

Suggestions for Further Reading

Alexander, Frank, and Heide Sigmund Cuda. GotYour Back: My Life in Tupac's Last Year. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998.

Scott, Cathy. The Killing of Tupac Shakur. Las Vegas: Huntington Press, 1997.

White, Armond. Rebel for the Hell of It: The Life of Tupac Shakur. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1997.

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over 9 years ago

There is something i don't understand. You say that Tupac spend nearly 8 months in jail! But when you listen to Tupac's interviews, you can hear him say that he been in prison for eleven and a half months! I just wanna know: when did he start his prison sentence and when was he released from prison? Because from February to October is 9 months. Why would Pac say that he spend eleven and a half months in jail?

Please Reply, because i can't find it on the internet! He was shot 5 times on November 30 1994. Didn't he check himself out the hospital the next day to hear the sentence? He was sentenced to 1.5 to 4.5 years in jail! Didn't he immediatly start his prison sentence??? It is very strange that you would get sentenced in November and begin your time in prison untill February??

Let me know something!

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almost 3 years ago

Most people don't understand the music business has one extremely important priority, SALES! Whatever they think the public wants to hear is what is produced and released. Image plays a major role and is usually very exaggerated or completely fabricated eg Rick Ross. Tupac was no exception. He was raised where the weak are eaten alive and physically he was on the small side. No one enters the school of toughness willingly. He did have a choice which was toughen up or be a constant victim. One thing that is a good indicator of the REAL Tupac was his friends said he tried selling crack but after a short time said he would rather starve than take advantage of people like that. Tupac was a complex individual but the majority of what the public saw was a false image created by music labels and the media.

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over 7 years ago

Tupac was the accessory to this crime and was primarily accused of not intervening while Fuller and a third man (never arrested?) raped the victim. How can it be that Fuller received half the sentence that Shakur did? His sentence was a travesty and Fuller should have received 20 years in prison. Has anyone tracked Fuller down to confront him about what actually happened in that hotel room?

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almost 8 years ago

Benn. Maybe he was adding up another time he's been to jail and this one. I'm sure he's been to jail for some kind of petty charges before.