Parole board considers releasing man from life sentence for pot

1 year 4 months 2 days ago August 06, 2015 Aug 6, 2015 Thursday, August 06 2015 Thursday, August 06, 2015 8:58:00 PM CDT in News
By: Jenna Middaugh, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Board of Probation and Parole heard the case Thursday of a man hoping to be released from parole. He was sentenced to life in prison for marijuana offenses.

Jeff 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.

Gov. Nixon commuted Mizanskey's sentence May 22 to make him eligible for parole.

During the hearing, Mizanskey's lawyer Dan Viets said the board asked Mizanskey questions about what his life would be like if he were released from prison.

"We told the Parole Board that Jeff has a strong network of support which includes his family and friends in the Sedalia, Missouri community as well as throughout the state of Missouri," Viets wrote online.

Viets said he gave the board letters from family members and friends expressing their support of Mizanskey's release as well as a letter signed by 126 members of the Missouri General Assembly asking Nixon to release him.

Viets said the parole board is set to make a decision within six to eight weeks.

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