Jeff Mizanskey freed after 21 years on marijuana conviction

4 years 11 months 1 day 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
JEFFERSON CITY - As summer school ends in the capital city, United Way of Central Missouri starts its Food 4... More >>
11 hours ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 5:24:00 PM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A baby elephant died several weeks after it was born at the St. Louis Zoo. ... More >>
13 hours ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 3:37:55 PM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - On Sunday, Battle High School students finally got to walk across the stage. The graduations were... More >>
14 hours ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 2:54:00 PM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Missourians will vote on August 4 on whether or not to pass Amendment 2. If passed, the amendment... More >>
14 hours ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 2:50:00 PM CDT August 02, 2020 in Target 8
COLUMBIA - Primary election day is this Tuesday, August 4, and Boone County Government will be open for business as... More >>
14 hours ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 2:32:00 PM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A trial is set to start for a man charged in the 2017 killing of a transgender... More >>
17 hours ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 12:03:00 PM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
CNN -- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that Pr esident Donald Trump "will take action in the coming... More >>
17 hours ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 11:46:13 AM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The first astronauts to ride a SpaceX capsule into orbit are headed toward a splashdown... More >>
18 hours ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 11:08:00 AM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police are investigating shots fired in the 5300 block of Godas Circle around 1 a.m. Sunday. ... More >>
19 hours ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 9:48:00 AM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
NEW FLORENCE -- A train went off the tracks in New Florence this morning. According to a Facebook post... More >>
19 hours ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 9:16:00 AM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
MEXICO – Trish Harris of Mexico, Mo. says she reminds her 2-year-old everyday who his father is. His father,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 01 2020 Aug 1, 2020 Saturday, August 01, 2020 8:54:00 PM CDT August 01, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Two schools, two graduations. Graduates had the opportunity to finally celebrate four years worth of hard work Saturday.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 01 2020 Aug 1, 2020 Saturday, August 01, 2020 7:56:00 PM CDT August 01, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A former assistant state attorney general and a former federal prosecutor are vying in Tuesday's Democratic... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 01 2020 Aug 1, 2020 Saturday, August 01, 2020 12:57:00 PM CDT August 01, 2020 in News
WARRENSBURG - One woman is dead and two people are injured after a shooting in Warrensburg Saturday morning. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 01 2020 Aug 1, 2020 Saturday, August 01, 2020 12:00:00 PM CDT August 01, 2020 in News
QUINCY, Ill. - One suspect in a deadly Audrain County home invasion was arrested Friday night. Quincy Police said... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 01 2020 Aug 1, 2020 Saturday, August 01, 2020 10:58:00 AM CDT August 01, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 01 2020 Aug 1, 2020 Saturday, August 01, 2020 9:13:00 AM CDT August 01, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - 58-year-old Columbia resident Clayton Jacobs has been reported missing after he was last seen by his neighbors on... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, August 01 2020 Aug 1, 2020 Saturday, August 01, 2020 12:15:00 AM CDT August 01, 2020 in News
MILWAUKEE ( KSDK ) — The Cardinals-Brewers game scheduled for Friday afternoon has been postponed again due to... More >>
2 days ago Friday, July 31 2020 Jul 31, 2020 Friday, July 31, 2020 11:00:00 PM CDT July 31, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 64°
6am 63°
7am 63°
8am 65°
9am 68°