Missouri man enjoys new life after freed on marijuana charge - KCTV5

DEVELOPING

Missouri man enjoys new life after freed on marijuana charge

Posted: Updated:
A Missouri man sentenced to life without parole for marijuana-related offenses was reunited with his loved ones Tuesday after his release from prison. A Missouri man sentenced to life without parole for marijuana-related offenses was reunited with his loved ones Tuesday after his release from prison.
Jeff Mizanskey's walked away from Jefferson City Correctional Center about 8 a.m. after spending more than 20 years behind bars. His son and grandchildren meet him once he was released. Jeff Mizanskey's walked away from Jefferson City Correctional Center about 8 a.m. after spending more than 20 years behind bars. His son and grandchildren meet him once he was released.
The 62-year-old grandfather regrets missing life’s treasures, like his granddaughter’s birth and wedding. The 62-year-old grandfather regrets missing life’s treasures, like his granddaughter’s birth and wedding.
JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A Missouri man sentenced to life without parole for marijuana-related offenses was reunited with his loved ones Tuesday after his release from prison.

Jeff Mizanskey walked away from Jefferson City Correctional Center about 8 a.m. after spending more than 20 years behind bars. His son and grandchildren were there to meet him.

"It's been kind of like a dream. Everybody in there is been asking me and asking me. Even my family asked if I'm nervous. I told them I've been trying to keep my feet on the ground," Mizanskey said.

He was given hugs and smiles by family.

"If I wasn't holding her you'd probably see me jump 10 feet in the air and I don't know if I can even jump three feet or half a foot, but that's the type of feeling I had. So great I had chills down my back," he said while holding his great granddaughter, Arreia.

Interestingly, Mizanskey's first order of business was taking care of his feet with a brand new pair of shoes.

"And I got them. (Laughing) feels like I'm walking on air," Mizanskey shared gleefully.

Mizanskey is on parole. He's says he's going to start looking for a job while beginning his role as a marijuana activist. Mizanskey may be advocating for pot, but he says he won't be smoking it.

"It's still illegal federally. And, as long as it's illegal federally I can't do anything about it. I promised my mother I wouldn't break any more laws," Mizanskey said.

The first place Mizanskey, a Sedalia resident, went after his release was the Towne Grill in Jefferson City where he enjoyed steak and eggs with his family and supporters.

Now that he's a free man, he's focusing on getting use to all of the changes that have happened in the last two decades.

"I've never been on the Internet. I've messed around with the computer doing some legal work, so I know a little bit about it, but that's about it. As far as the telephone, I used to walk into the telephone booth. It's probably not even a dime anymore," he said.

The 62-year-old grandfather regrets missing life’s treasures, like his granddaughter’s birth and wedding.

“(I feel guilty) All the time, all the time. That's something I'll probably die with," Mizanskey said. "I wish I’d have been here to see it all develop. But to be out of the picture then come back in, it’s been a major shock for real."

His two decades of pain started to heal when Missouri’s three strike law was repealed in 2014, followed by 390,000 people all over the United States signing a petition for Mizanskey’s release.

In May, Gov. Jay Nixon gave Mizanskey hope by commuting his sentence.

"They changed it from a life without parole to a life sentence,” Mizanskey explained.

With a newly commuted sentence, Mizanskey went in front of the parole board on Aug. 4. In just four days, the board granted his release, a process that normally takes six to eight weeks.

Police say Mizanskey conspired to sell six pounds of pot to a dealer connected to Mexican drug cartels in 1991. It was his third drug conviction. He never admitted to the crime, even when asked about it on Tuesday.

“I wasn't actually guilty with the crime I was charged with,” he said.

At the time, Missouri law allowed people convicted of three drug offenses to be sentenced to life without parole.

Click here to donate to Mizanskey's GoFundMe page.

Copyright 2015 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.