Clemency to Jeff Mizanskey: Life without parole for marijuana

My father Jeff Mizanskey has been in prison for 20 years and has no possibility of parole. For non-violent, marijuana-only offenses, my father has been sentenced to die in prison because of a "three strikes" mandatory sentencing policy in the State of Missouri.

Dad's first offense was in 1984 when he sold an ounce to an undercover informant, and then was found to possess a half pound of marijuana when police raided his house the next day.  His next offense occurred in 1991, when he was caught in possession of a couple of ounces. But for my father's final strike in 1993, he became an easy fall guy in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana. My dad was driving a friend to a deal that turned out to be a sting operation. All of the other convicted men involved were set free years ago, but my dad was given a virtual death sentence. 

My dad is, and always has been, a good man. He taught my brother and I all about construction and a good work ethic. He has never been violent and he is a model prisoner. And over the 20 years he has been in that little cell, he has watched as violent criminals, rapists, and murderers have "paid their debts" and left - sometimes just to return a few months later.

My father is 61 years old, and has been in prison since he was 41. His parents - my grandparents - have since passed. While my dad has been trapped behind bars, generations of kids and grandkids have been born into our family who have never even met the man. The State of Missouri spends roughly $22,000/year to keep him locked up. Meanwhile all my dad wants to do is be a productive part of society, work and pay taxes, be with his family. And I want my dad back.

Governor Jay Nixon is the only person who has the power to bring my dad home by granting clemency to Jeff and calling 20 years punishment enough. Please help us reach a just and reasonable end to his prison sentence by signing and sharing this petition.

Governor Jeremiah Nixon
Jeff Mizanskey is a non-violent, marijuana-only offender who has spent the last 20 years in a Missouri prison. He has been sentenced to be there for the rest of his life, and he has no opportunity for parole. The only hope he has to ever to become a working member of society or to hold his grandchildren in

Chris Mizanskey started this petition with a single signature, and won with 391,254 supporters. Start a petition to change something you care about.


  1. Victory

    May 28, 2015 — Jeff Mizanskey served over two decades of a life without the possibility of parole sentence for nonviolent marijuana offenses in Missouri. One year after nearly 400,000 signed his son Chris' petition asking Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to grant his father clemency, Nixon commuted the sentence to life with the possibility of parole -- allowing Jeff to appear before a parole board in 2015. Jeff had the support of organizations like Show Me Cannabis and over 25 members of the Missouri legislature who called on Nixon to grant him clemency.
  2. 5 months ago
    Featured in Riverfront Times

    How an Unlikely Coalition of Family, Marijuana Activists, Redditors and a GOP State Rep Freed Jeff Mizanskey from Life in Prison
    At 1:30 a.m. on September 1, Jeff Mizanskey woke up in his prison cell at the Jefferson City Correctional Center after a brief nap. The 62-year-old had been in prison for nearly 22 years. But in six hours, he would be a free man. He couldn't fall back asleep.
  3. 5 months ago
    Petition update

    Today my dad walked out of prison a free man for the first time in more than 20 years! I can’t begin to describe how great this day is for our family. All I can say to you...
  4. 6 months ago
    Featured in

    Only man in Missouri serving life without parole for marijuana offenses, granted parole, son says
    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The only man in Missouri serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for non-violent marijuana related offenses is now getting released from the maximum-security prison in Jefferson City, according to the man's son. Jeff Mizanskey was told Monday...
  5. 6 months ago
    Petition update

    Click here to support Jeff's coming home fund! by Amber Ward
    Yesterday, my dad had his hearing before the parole board. His lawyer Dan Viets was there and has put together a great write up of how it went. Here are a few...
  6. 6 months ago
    Petition update

    Jeff Mizanskey discusses parole hearing
    Tomorrow is a big day. It's my dad's first parole hearing and he could be granted his freedom. Thank you for helping us get this far. To show the parole board that...
  7. 6 months ago
    Featured in The Washingtion Times

    Jeff Mizanskey, Missouri man serving life sentence for marijuana, faces first parole hearing
    A Missouri man serving out a life sentence for what he believes is a victimless crime faces his first parole hearing this week, thanks to a limited commutation granted by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. Jeff Mizanskey became ensnared by Missouri's three-strikes law in 1993 when he was...
  8. 9 months ago
    Petition update

    BREAKING: Gov. Nixon Commutes Life Sentence Of Jeff Mizanskey
    Friends, I have some huge news. Governor Nixon just commuted my dad's sentence to life WITH the possibility of parole! This means that my dad is now eligible to...
  9. 9 months ago
    Featured in Missourinet

    Decision on release of Missouri man serving life for pot could come by 'relatively' early summer
    The people seeking the release of the only man serving life in a Missouri prison for marijuana offenses could have an answer from Governor Nixon in the next couple of months. Jeff Mizanskey of Sedalia has been in prison for 21 years.
  10. 10 months ago
    Petition update

    Criminal Justice Reform | Facebook
    Friends, Yesterday I delivered your signatures to the office of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. We got lots of media coverage and our message was definitely heard...
  11. 10 months ago
    Petition update

    Friends, Today I’ll be delivering your signatures to Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, asking him to grant my father clemency. Joining me will be family and supporters, including some of the 128 state legislators who support my...
  12. 12 months ago
    Petition update

    Just a day after my last update to you, Gov. Nixon announced that he will be taking "a hard look" at my father's case and clemency request. It's great news and I know that you helped make it happen by putting pressure on...
  13. 1 year ago
    Petition update

    One year ago, I started a petition asking Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to pardon my father, who has spent 21 years in prison for marijuana. Since then, 385,000 people have stood for my father’s freedom and signed our...
  14. 2 years ago
    Petition update

    Free Jeff Mizanskey Campaign
    Thank you for signing my petition and calling on Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to grant my father Jeff Mizanskey clemency. After 21 years in prison for marijuana, we've...

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