Yesterday morning Jeff Mizanskey registered to vote! For the first time in 24 years, after his release from parole late last week, Jeff Mizanskey, an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Air Force, is eligible to vote again.
Jeff was arrested in 1993 and sent to prison in 1994 for the very brief possession of a few pounds of marijuana. He did not own the marijuana. He did not possess the marijuana for more than a few minutes, but that was caught on camera and was sufficient for the jury to find him guilty. Because of his two prior very small marijuana felony convictions, his only other criminal convictions in his life, Jeff was sentenced to the maximum term of life in prison, without possibility of probation or parole, as a “prior and persistent drug offender”. Due in part to the efforts of Missouri NORML, the “prior and persistent drug offender” law has since been repealed.
After serving more than 21 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, thanks to the efforts of Missouri NORML Chapters, Show-Me Cannabis and others, Governor Jay Nixon was persuaded to grant Jeff a commutation of his sentence which made him eligible for parole. I then represented Jeff in his successful effort to obtain parole.
Normally, defendants are on parole for the remainder of their sentence. Therefore, Jeff could have been on parole for the rest of his life. However, parolees can request release from parole after three years. Jeff was released from prison three years ago this week. We expected having to go to court to seek his release from parole. We were very pleased, however, that the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole chose to terminate his parole late last week!
Missouri NORML issued a press release about the fact that Jeff was going to go to the office of the Pettis County Clerk in Sedalia this morning to register. The response was very gratifying.
Jeff was interviewed urging everyone to register and vote by the Mid-Missouri ABC and NBC television affiliates, as well as by local newspaper and radio stations. Read more from KSIS Radio!
October 10, 2018 is the deadline to register to vote in the November 6 election where Amendment 2, the medical marijuana initiative endorsed by NORML, is on Missouri’s statewide ballot. So please make sure you register to vote today!