Democratic Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri has commuted the life sentence of 61-year-old Jeff Mizanskey who is currently serving prison time for three marijuana convictions.
Mizanskey’s third drug arrest occurred in 1993, when he was caught involved in a sale of six to seven pounds of the drug to Mexican drug cartels. Due to Missouri’s Prior and Persistent Drug Offender law, which has since been repealed, three-time drug offenders go straight to prison for life without a chance of parole, The Riverfront Times reported.
“The executive power to grant clemency is one I take with a great deal of consideration and seriousness,” Governor Nixon said in a press release to announce the leniency of Mizanskey’s case.
“In the case of the commutation, my action provides Jeff Mizanskey with the opportunity to demonstrate that he deserves parole,” Nixon continued.
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Jeff’s brother, Michael Mizanskey, did not realize a decision on his brother’s case would be revealed this soon. He is currently on vacation with his family, but did express gratitude to the Governor.
“It’s wonderful. Thank Jay Nixon for doing that, for finally looking at his case and doing the right thing.”
“I’m very emotional. I’m overjoyed he has a chance,” Michael continued. “In almost 22 years, he had two write-ups, one for putting mail in the wrong slot and one for a messy floor. Tell me that’s not a model prisoner. No fights, no nothing. Tell me that’s not a model prisoner.”
While Jeff Mizanskey will still have to apply for parole, Missouri Department of Corrections spokesman David Owen said Mizanskey’s case will likely be heard “sometime this summer.”