Attorney: Jeff Mizanskey granted parole for Marijuana convictions
JEFFERSON CITY - Jeff Mizanskey, who was serving a life sentence for marijuana convictions, was granted parole Monday, according to The Missouri Affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
NORML said Mizanskey was informed Monday morning he would walk free. Mizanskey has served 21 years of a life sentence for marijuana offenses.
Mizanskey had a parole hearing Thursday at the Jefferson City Correctional Center. NORML said the parole board's decision could have been influenced by support from members of the Missouri General Assembly and the public.
Mizanskey's son, Chris Mizanskey, advocated for his father's freedom by circulating a petition that got more than 390,000 signatures.
Mizanskey's lawyer, Dan Viets, said Mizanskey's family was "thrilled that Jeff will soon be back at home after 21 years of incarceration."
Mizanskey was sentenced to serve life in prison for being a "prior and persistent drug offender" in 1996 after three drug charges. He pleaded guilty in 1984 to two marijuana-related felony possession and distribution charges and in 1991 to another felony possession charge. Two years later, he was arrested in Pettis County for his current conviction: attempt to distribute.
NORML said the Missouri Bar Committee revised the Missouri Criminal Code and recommended the "prior and persistent drug offender" law be repealed. The Missouri General Assembly amended the law in 2014. The repeal was set to become effective January 2017.
Gov. Nixon commuted Mizanskey's sentence May 22, making him eligible for parole.
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