Man in prison for life over marijuana is released
Sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole stemming from a marijuana charged, a Missouri man has overcome that sentence and walked free today after serving 20 years.
Years of lobbying by friends, supporters, and politicians paid off after Missouri Governor Jay Nixon commuted the sentence for Jeff Mizanskey.
Mizanskey was sentenced in 1996 after police said he conspired to sell 6 pounds of marijuana to a dealer connected to Mexican drug cartels. The life with no parole sentence was allowed under a Missouri law for persistent drug offenders; Mizanskey already had two drug convictions — one for possession and sale of marijuana in 1984 and another for possession in 1991.
Mizanskey was the only Missouri inmate serving such a sentence for a nonviolent marijuana-related offense, and the law under which he was sentenced has since been changed.