You may have noticed that on every page on our site, there is a banner urging people to send a text message to 420420 to learn more about Jeff Mizanskey. Jeff has been serving a life prison sentence in Missouri for marijuana only offenses. That's right, this man will die in prison because of offenses involving a plant that is safer than alcohol. To say that Jeff's sentence is wrong is a huge understatement.
For awhile now activists in Missouri and beyond have been calling for Missouri's Governor to step up to the plate and do what's right and grant Mr. Mizanskey clemency. Mr. Mizanskey is not a danger to society, and he has served way more than enough time. The crimes he was convicted of were non-violent, and in no way warrant a life sentence. There are real criminals walking the streets of Missouri right now, looking for their next victim. Those people should be locked in prison. But instead the prison bed is being dedicated to someone like Jeff Mizanskey, and will be for the rest of Jeff's life unless Missouri's Governor does what's right.
Missouri's Governor has largely avoided the call from activists and members of the Mizanskey family. However, I'm very happy to say that Missouri's Governor announced today that he would review Mizanskey's sentence. Per KMBC:
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said he will take a "hard look" at the case of a 61-year-old man serving life in prison for marijuana.
In his first extensive public comments about the case, Nixon told KMBC 9 News he will review the life sentence for Jeff Mizanskey before his term ends in 2016.
"It's a very serious amount of time," Nixon said. "If the laws change after someone is sentenced, then you want to give those things a close look."
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon needs to move on this immediately. Everyday that goes by is a day that tax payer dollars are wasted, and is a day that Jeff Mizanskey won't get back. Jeff Mizanskey's son started a petition on Change.Org calling for Missouri's Governor to take action. You can add your name to that petition at this link here. You should also consider donating to the Show-Me Cannabis campaign, which has been doing everything they can to help Jeff, and to end marijuana prohibition in Missouri so that nonsense like this doesn't happen again. Below is the language from the petition, which gives a great explanation of why Missouri's Governor should do the right thing and grant clemency:
By Chris Mizanskey
My father Jeff Mizanskey has been in prison for 20 years and has no possibility of parole. For non-violent, marijuana-only offenses, my father has been sentenced to die in prison because of a "three strikes" mandatory sentencing policy in the State of Missouri.
Dad's first offense was in 1984 when he sold an ounce to an undercover informant, and then was found to possess a half pound of marijuana when police raided his house the next day. His next offense occurred in 1991, when he was caught in possession of a couple of ounces. But for my father's final strike in 1993, he became an easy fall guy in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana. My dad was driving a friend to a deal that turned out to be a sting operation. All of the other convicted men involved were set free years ago, but my dad was given a virtual death sentence.
My dad is, and always has been, a good man. He taught my brother and I all about construction and a good work ethic. He has never been violent and he is a model prisoner. And over the 20 years he has been in that little cell, he has watched as violent criminals, rapists, and murderers have "paid their debts" and left - sometimes just to return a few months later.
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.
Governor Jay Nixon is the only person who has the power to bring my dad home by granting clemency to Jeff and calling 20 years punishment enough. Please help us reach a just and reasonable end to his prison sentence by signing and sharing this petition.