Since September of last year, Truth in Media has reported on the the plight of Jeff Mizanskey, a 62-year-old grandfather who was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for three non-violent marijuana convictions under Missouri’s since-repealed, three-strikes style Prior and Persistent Drug Offender statute. After a rising chorus of supporters begged for his release, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon unexpectedly commuted Mizanskey’s sentence to life in prison with the possibility of parole last May, qualifying him for an August 6 hearing before Missouri’s Board of Probation and Parole.
At the hearing, Mizanskey, who has already spent over 21 years in a maximum security prison, was granted parole and, according to ABC 17 News, he is set to be released within 10 to 25 days of the parole board’s decision.
A message posted on August 10 on the Free Jeff Mizanskey Facebook page read, “Great news everyone… Jeff is coming home this month! We want everyone to know how greatful[sic] we are for all the support received throughout this whole ordeal. There is a lot of people to thank but I don’t wanna forget anyone so I need to make a list but we are so thankful to everyone that had a part in helping us bring him home.” The post contains a link to a GoFundMe page dedicated to raising funds to help Mizanskey get back on his feet after decades of incarceration.
Jeff Mizanskey’s son Chris summed up his experience in lobbying for his father’s release for all these years in comments to KCRG-13, “It really does go to show you that people being together on one voice can change a lot of issues.” Chris Mizanskey said that supporters who had pressured officials on his father’s behalf deserve credit for his release.
Watch the Truth in Media Project’s Consider This video, embedded below, which exposes some lesser-known and important facts about non-violent inmates serving hard time under the War on Drugs.