A Missouri man who has spent the last 22 years in prison on a marijuana conviction finally walked free on Tuesday.
Jeff Mizanskey, now 62, was arrested in 1993 for selling 6 pounds of marijuana to a dealer. He was sentenced to life without parole, a provision in state law that was repealed in 2014. According to local KRCG, Mizanskey’s case was the subject of intense lobbying, and Governor Jay Nixon commuted his sentence to life with the possibility of parole. Mizanskey went to the parole board last month and was easily granted release.
Video shows a tearful Mizanskey embracing his family as he walks free.
“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 told KCTV5.
According to NBC News, Nixon cited the non-violent nature of Mizanskey’s record and offenses.
Mizanskey, a grandfather, plans to be an advocate for prison reform and says state prisons need to better prepare inmates to transition to life outside, KRCG reports. He hopes to continue his career in home remodeling. But first, he went out to a meal of steak and eggs with his family and supporters.
Watch video of Mizanskey being released from prison and rejoining his family, via KRCG, here: