Published On: Tue, Sep 1st, 2015

Missouri: After two decades in prison for a non-violent marijuana offense, Jeff Mizanskey is a free man

In 1996, Air Force veteran, husband and father, Jeff Mizanskey was found guilty in Benton County of felony possession of marijuana and sentenced to life with no option for parole.

Image/National Atlas

Image/National Atlas

His crime was holding a brick of 6 to 7 pounds of marijuana in his hands for mere moments.

“My father has never met his grandchildren and wasn’t allowed to attend the funerals when his parents died,” said his son, Chris Mizanskey. “His conviction devastated the family.”

Today, the 61-year-old Mizanskey is a free man after Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon commuted his sentence and thanks to a Change.org petition started 2 years ago that received more than 390,000 signatures.

Chris writes on the petition:

My father is 61 years old, and has been in prison since he was 41. His parents – my grandparents – have since passed. While my dad has been trapped behind bars, generations of kids and grandkids have been born into our family who have never even met the man. The State of Missouri spends roughly $22,000/year to keep him locked up. Meanwhile all my dad wants to do is be a productive part of society, work and pay taxes, be with his family. And I want my dad back.

“He saw rapists, murderers and child molesters get out of prison while he was sentenced to die behind bars for something that should not be a crime to begin with,” said his lawyer, Dan Viets.

A couple of hours ago, Chris writes: “Today my dad walked out a free man for the first time in 20 years! I can’t begin to describe how great this is for our family.”

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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  1. Yeager Police Say UC Student Detained, Cited After Marijuana Butter Found - Medical Marijuana says:

    […] Missouri: After two decades in prison for a non-violent marijuana offense … Butter Bracco – Roxanne "Butter" Bracco is the Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reporting, insights and interviews for the Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and West Virginia regions. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: … Read more on The Global Dispatch […]

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