Tag Archives: Life in Prison for Pot

Mo. Grandfather, Once Condemned to Life in Prison Without Parole for Pot, Walks Free

62-year-old Missouri grandfather Jeff Mizanskey walked out of the Jefferson City Correctional Center on Tuesday, where he was met by a cheering crowd of friends and family members.

21 years earlier, Mizanskey had been 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to life in prison without the possibility of parole for three non-violent marijuana convictions under Missouri’s since-repealed, three-strikes style Prior and Persistent Drug Offender statute. However, passionate and relentless protests by supporters led elected officials in Missouri to intervene, climaxing in Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s May commutation of Mizanskey’s sentence, which granted him the opportunity for parole. In August, Missouri’s Board of Probation and Parole reviewed his case and approved his parole request.

According to KRCG-TV, Mizanskey said that he plans to continue his advocacy of cannabis legalization and prison reform and wants to get back to work remodeling homes. He recommended that prisons provide inmates with training in information technology careers to help their chances of reintegrating into society after their release.

The newly-freed Mizanskey reportedly dined on steak and eggs with friends and family at a local restaurant after leaving the maximum security prison in which he had been imprisoned for over two decades.

The Free Jeff Mizanskey Facebook page celebrated his freedom by posting several pictures of him following his release, including a picture, seen below, captioned, “Getting some food and meeting his great granddaughter.

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In the original Change.org petition that supporters used to drum up support for his release, Mizanskey’s son Chris wrote, “While my dad has been trapped behind bars, generations of kids and grandkids have been born into our family who have never even met the man.

Mizanskey’s family has created a crowdfunding page on the website GoFundMe which seeks help with his transition back into society after being incarcerated for decades.

Watch the Truth in Media Project’s Consider This video, embedded below, which exposes some important and lesser-known facts about non-violent inmates serving hard time under the War on Drugs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zTOFxdUsQw

Missouri To Set Free Grandfather Sentenced to Life Without Parole for Pot

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.

[RELATED: MO Governor Jay Nixon Commutes Grandfather’s Life Sentence for Pot]

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zTOFxdUsQw

Grandfather Still Serving Life for Pot Following Mo. Governor’s Commutation

Truth in Media reported last September on the plight of Jeff Mizanskey, a now 62-year-old grandfather who had been sentenced to life in prison without parole for three non-violent marijuana convictions under Missouri’s since-repealed Prior and Persistent Drug Offender statute. After state legislators led by Republican Representative Shamed Dogan pressed Missouri’s governor to step in on Mizanskey’s behalf and set him free, Governor Nixon commuted the grandfather and Air Force veteran’s sentence to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Mizanskey remains behind bars in a maximum security prison, his imprisonment draining taxpayer funds, as he continues to serve the twenty-first year of what is still an active life sentence. His first parole hearing is set for August 6. However, analysis by the criminal justice non-profit Marshall Project and cited by KSHB-TV found that Missouri has “one of the most secretive parole boards – one that’s not required to explain its decisions” and that “parole-eligible lifers are almost never paroled at their first hearing and often are never freed.”

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has the authority to free Mizanskey outright, but so far has refused to do so, citing what he referred to as the seriousness of Mizanskey’s marijuana convictions. In 2011, Governor Nixon’s own son was cited with marijuana possession before the charges were later dropped by prosecutors.

Why [Governor Nixon] wants me to be on parole after 21 years [in prison], I don’t know,” said Jeff Mizanskey to KSHB-TV. “Just because you’re going up for parole, don’t mean you make it… I’m 62. I came in when I was 41. Since then, I’ve had grandchildren I’ve not even got to see yet. You know, to be out there with my family, friends, it would mean the world.”

CBS St. Louis notes that Mike Mizanskey, Jeff Mizanskey’s brother, has been asking supporters to submit letters to the Jefferson City Correctional Center parole board asking for his release. “I suggest that the letters be short, no more than one or two pages ideally. They should begin with the writer stating how he or she knows Jeff or knows about his case. The writer should then state that he or she believes Jeff has suffered enough for his crimes and deserves to be released. What it actually says is probably less important than the fact that a person is willing to speak up on Jeff’s behalf,” said Mike Mizanskey. A group called POW 420 published the address to the Jefferson City Correctional Center on its website.

Analysis by KSHB-TV found that taxpayers have spent almost $500,000 keeping Mizanskey behind bars for the past 21 years, with each additional year costing around $22,000.

Watch the Truth in Media Project’s Consider This video, embedded below, which examines some facts about non-violent inmates serving hard time under the War on Drugs.

https://youtu.be/9zTOFxdUsQw