Mutulu Shakur, Tupac Shakur's stepfather, has been released on parole after nearly 37 years in jail.

The U.S. Parole Commission granted his request in November, after several denials, so Shakur, who has cancer, could spend his dying days with his family. He was released from prison on Friday.

The commission ruled Shakur's health had "significantly deteriorated", making him "infirm of mind and body" and "no longer physically capable of committing any federal, state or local crime", according to the New York Daily News.

Shakur, 72, was diagnosed with stage-3 multiple myeloma, a type of bone marrow cancer, in 2019. He was being kept at a federal medical centre in Lexington, Kentucky, due to his health difficulties.

"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," the Family & Friends of Mutulu Shakur wrote on their website. "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 sentenced to 60 years in prison in 1988 for his involvement in an armoured-truck heist. The armed robbery, which took place in New York in 1981, resulted in the deaths of a guard and two police officers.

Shakur was married to Tupac's mother Afeni between 1975 and 1982. Tupac was murdered in 1996 at the age of 25.