Jeff Mizanskey freed after 21 years on marijuana conviction

2 years 3 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, September 01 2015 Sep 1, 2015 Tuesday, September 01, 2015 11:09:00 AM CDT September 01, 2015 in News
By: Patrick McGovern, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - Family and friends greeted Jeff Mizanskey with hugs and kisses as he was released from prison on Tuesday morning after spending 21 years there.

"We're going to keep fighting. If you keep fighting letting people know the truth about it, things will change. You'll never have to go through what I did... It's hell," Mizanskey said.

Now that he is a free man, Mizanskey plans on spending his time with his family and going back to his job in the construction business working on home remodeling.

He will focus on marijuana reform, working with the organization Show-Me Cannabis to fight for legalization federally.

"People need to get registered to vote, and vote.  That's the key," Mizanskey said. "It's about time majority rules instead of the minority."

"I hear it is helping our veterans from not killing themselves.  There are so many uses out there  We've been using it for thousands of years, and all of the sudden our government decided it was no good for us.  We need to change it."

Dan Viets has worked as the attorney for Mizanskey since May. He believes change needs to be made.

"There should not be a penalty for exercising your constitutional right to a trial, but that's exactly what happened to Jeff Mizanskey."

Mizanskey was also injured during his time in prison, working at a furniture shop. He had a broken leg as well a tumor on his arm.

"To leave something like that on a man, it is outrageous, it is inhumane," said Viets. "It is a horrible pretense of medical care that we give to prisoners. That's not supposed to be a part of the prison experience, that is cruel and unusual punishment."

Mizanskey was sentenced to life in prison on May 24, 1994 for his third offense containing marijuana. The first came in 1984, where he sold an ounce of marijuana to an undercover informant, and then was found possessing a half pound of marijuana when his home was raided the next day. The second offense came seven years later in 1991, when Mizanskey was caught again with possession. The third and final offense came in 1993, which turned into a sting operation that he was driving for a friend to complete a drug deal.

The judge then sentenced him to life without parole as a "prior and persistent offender."

"Nobody deserves that, not for marijuana," Mizanskey said.  

Mizanskey, 61, became eligible for parole in May when Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) commuted his life sentence. This decision allowed for a parole hearing held on August 6, which deemed Mizanskey a free man in the coming month.

An online petition started by Chris Mizanskey, Jeff's son, on the website change.org has over 391 thousand supporters on a petition to Gov. Nixon to review Jeff's case.

"Its an amazing win for our family, we've got back up now," Chris Mizanskey said. "Words can't describe it, man."

Chris Mizanskey was fifteen years old when his father was give his life sentence without a chance for parole in 1994.

Jeff Mizanskey said, "I've spent a third of my life in prison."

 

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Chamber of Commerce is advocating for a full functioning Hyperloop to come to Missouri. After... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 3:32:00 AM CST December 15, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Kevin Roy scored twice and John Gibson made 29 saves as the Anaheim Ducks defeated the... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 10:20:39 PM CST December 14, 2017 in Sports
COLUMBIA - Iron Tiger Tattoo parlor in downtown Columbia mops its floors nearly three times a day. It didn’t use... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 9:56:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in Target 8
CAMDENTON - The Missouri Department of Natural Resources recommended an old manufacturer in Camdenton as a Superfund site. Money... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 8:30:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
VERSAILLES - Prosecutors filed charges against three employees of the Morgan County Jail on Monday, including a nurse accused of... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 7:50:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
FULTON - People who are preparing to travel for the holidays are automatically at risk for robberies, road issues, and... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 7:25:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The search for Missouri's next top education official has started. The State Board of Education... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 6:13:24 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
MOBERLY - Fire and law enforcement officers from three counties received radiological training Thursday at the Moberly Fire Department. ... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 6:09:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Here is the latest on a threat to Moberly Area Community College's Columbia campus: 6:55 p.m. ... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 5:00:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
UPDATE: Suspect Monquail Williams has been taken into custody in Boone County without incident. According to Corporal Andy Boggs... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 4:47:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia has new aid in fighting snowy roads this with the help of its new... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 4:04:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY – One Missouri farmer is righting his wrong following a pig waste leakage into a nearby creek. ... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 3:45:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Authorities are investigating a Wednesday night shooting which injured a 19-year-old Jefferson City resident, police said in... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 3:37:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Callaway County schools donated more than 9,200 toys to Toys for Tots Thursday. "We're excited," coordinator Melissa... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 3:20:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
BELLEFONTAINE NEIGHBORS (AP) - The Latest on the shooting of two St. Louis-area police officers saved by their bulletproof vests... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 3:17:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Thursday marked the five year anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting. In 2012, Adam Lanza opened fire... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 2:50:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police now have 75 kits with the opioid overdose reversal medication naloxone, which is also known as Narcan.... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 2:39:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The former administrator of the Pettis County Ambulance District has admitted embezzling more than $227,000... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 2:15:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 32°
7am 30°
8am 30°
9am 33°
10am 36°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

6:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
7:00a
Today
9:00a
Megyn Kelly TODAY
6:00a
Page Six TV
6:30a
Cops
7:00a
Maury

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Blindspot
8:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
The 86th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld