Jeff Mizanskey is a Missouri inmate who is serving a life sentence for pot possession, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Earlier this year, more than two-thirds of Missouri state legislators and nearly 400,000 online supporters urged Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to use his executive authority to free Mizanskey, who is a nonviolent offender caught up in the state’s three-strikes law.
The governor made Mizanskey eligible for parole. Mizanskey’s original sentence did not allow for parole.
He is scheduled this week for his first parole hearing. Mizanskey was prosecuted nearly two decades ago after a marijuana-purchase sting operation.
On Thursday, the 62-year-old will take full advantage of a recent declaration granted by Missouri Governor Nixon, which stated that Mizanskey now has the “opportunity to demonstrate that he deserves parole.”
After waiting three months for a hearing, the veteran inmate hopes the parole board will acknowledge that his sentence has never fit the crime in the first place.
Rather than a “pardon” or “commutation” to time served, Nixon – formerly a tough-on-crime state attorney general – made Mizanskey eligible for parole last May, which his original sentence did not allow, writes U.S. News and World Report.