Jeff Mizanskey has been in prison for the last 20 years serving life without parole for non-violent cannabis-only violations of Missouri law. In late 1993, Jeff drove an acquaintance, Atilano Quintana, to a motel in Sedalia where Quintana planned to buy seven pounds of marijuana from the men. The transaction was part of a sting operation setup by police after the men selling the marijuana were busted when stopped for a traffic violation on their way to Missouri from New Mexico.
The surveillance footage shows that it wasn’t Jeff, but his acquaintance Atilano Quintana, buying the cannabis. It was also Quintana who was in possession of the marijuana when Mizanksey and Quintana were arrested. Even so, Jeff was charged with intent to distribute for aiding and abetting Quintana, a Class B felony that was enhanced to a Class A felony due to Jeff’s prior cannabis convictions.
The perversion of justice gets worse. Because Jeff had three prior cannabis convictions, including one for selling an ounce of cannabis to an undercover cop in 1984 and another for possession of more than 35 grams in 1991, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole for this same charge under Missouri’s prior and persistent drug offenders statute. All of Jeff’s violations of law were non-violent.
Jeff’s son Chris Mizanskey is a Show-Me Cannabis supporter who lives in Sedalia and, like the rest of Jeff’s family, misses him very much and wants to see him come home. Chris told the St. Louis Riverfront Times: “What’s happened to him isn’t right, and I just think people should know that this happens. My dad wasn’t a violent man. People always tell me what a good guy he was. He worked hard. He doesn’t deserve this. Who does?”
We agree with Chris. Jeff doesn’t deserve such a harsh penalty for violations which were entirely non-violent. What he deserves is justice.
Jeff recently submitted an application for executive clemency to Governor Nixon asking that his sentence be commuted to time served. Many prisoners make these applications, and it is rare that a case gets enough of a Governor’s attention to be seriously considered. This is why it’s so important you speak out!
Please join the Justice for Jeff campaign by texting ‘Jeff’ to 420420 now. Then, call Governor Nixon’s office at (573) 751-3222 and politely ask that he grant Jeff Mizanskey clemency.
After you’ve called, please consider contributing to Jeff’s legal fund so his attorney is able to dedicate more time towards freeing Jeff. Also, be sure to like the “Free Jeff Mizanskey” Facebook page!
- Contribute to Jeff’s legal fund
- “Free Jeff Mizanskey” Facebook page
- Change.org Petition – Please sign and share!
- How a Missouri Man Could Die in Prison for Weed (12/5/2013 Riverfront Times article)
- After 20 Years in Prison, Missouri Man Serving Life Without Parole for Marijuana Asks Governor for Clemency (10/24/2013 Riverfront Times article)
- “Free Jeff Mizanskey” Efforts Continue with Billboards and 360,000 Signatures (04/14/2014 Riverfront Times article)
- Here I Am (Documentary, Length: 24:31)
- Advocacy Flyer (PDF, 938 KB)