Jeff Mizanskey, a 61-year old Missouri man who has been in prison for over 20 years without parole over a cannabis-related charge, could be freed as soon as “relatively early summer”, according to Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.
Jeff was arrested in 1993 on his third nonviolent, cannabis-related charge. As part of the state’s controversial three-strike law, Jeff was sentenced to life in prison, without parole, despite having no history of violence and no criminal record other than the three cannabis charges.
Governor Jay Nixon (D) has been petitioned multiple times to free Jeff, and a bill to do just that made it out of its initial committee, but stalled before becoming law. Previously, Nixon has said that he would consider freeing Jeff before he leaves office, but that’s not until 2017. However, in a recent interview, Nixon made it clear he’ll be considering the move much sooner.
“That matter is in that next group that is being reviewed,” Nixon told reporters. “It’s been a busy last five or six weeks, and while there may have been meetings like that on my schedule, some of those have been bumped recently…That’s something that I’d like to get to relatively early this summer [in regards to potentially commuting Jeff’s sentence].”
Late last month a petition with over 400,000 signatures, including 128 lawmakers, was delivered to Governor Nixon asking him to free Jeff Mizanskey.