Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has commuted the sentence of Jeff Mizanskey.
The following is a statement from Show-Me Cannibis on this decision. JEFFERSON CITY, MO - May 22, 2015 - This afternoon Governor Nixon issued an Order commuting the sentence of Jeff Mizanskey to make him eligible for parole. It is believed that the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole will release Mr. Mizanskey, who has been a model prisoner during his 21 years in the custody of the Missouri Department of Corrections.
Dan Viets, who represented Mizanskey along with attorney Tony Nenninger, in regard to his application for clemency said, "This is wonderful news for Jeff Mizanskey and his family and for everyone in our state who believes in justice. I commend Governor Nixon for taking this action."
Both Show Me Cannabis and NORML Chapters throughout the state supported Mizanskey's clemency request. Viets chairs the Board of Show Me Cannabis and is Missouri coordinator for NORML.
The following is the press release from Governor Nixon's Public Affairs:
Gov. Jay Nixon today announced that he has granted pardons to three men and two women convicted of non-violent offenses. Each of the individuals has completed his or her sentence and has become a law-abiding citizen. In addition, the Governor has commuted the sentence of Jeffrey Mizanskey to make him eligible for parole consideration. In 1996, Mizanskey was sentenced as a persistent drug offender to life without the possibility of parole.

“The executive power to grant clemency is one I take with a great deal of consideration and seriousness,” Gov. Nixonsaid. “In each of the cases where I have granted a pardon, the individual has demonstrated the ability and willingness to turn his or her life around and become a contributing member of society.

In addition to the pardons, Gov. Nixon today also commuted the sentence of Jeffrey Mizanskey, who was convicted on a charge stemming from Pettis County in 1996 for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver/distribute. Because of Mizanskey’s prior drug-related convictions, he was sentenced as a persistent offender under the laws in effect at the time to a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The Governor’s commutation changes that sentence to include the possibility of parole, effective immediately.

“In the case of the commutation, my action provides Jeff Mizanskey with the opportunity to demonstrate that he deserves parole,” Gov. Nixon said.

Those granted pardons are:

  • Michael Derrington has been a substance abuse counselor for almost 30 years and received the Helen B. Madden Memorial Award from the National Council of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in 2008 for his work in the field. In 1979, he was convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession in St. Louis County and paid a $100 fine.
  • Nicole Lowe lives in Tennessee and has been employed as a loan officer with various banking and mortgage companies. In 2000, she was given a suspended execution of sentence in St. Francois County after being convicted of misdemeanor stealing for taking two deposits from her employer. Lowe returned the amount she stole and successfully completed a two-year term of probation.
  • Bill Holt worked as a school bus driver for nearly three decades. In 1958, he was convicted of misdemeanor non-support in Douglas County and spent less than two weeks in the county jail before being placed on probation. Holt successfully completed his probation.
  • Doris Atchison has completed a vocational heating and air condition program. In 1970, she was convicted in Cape Girardeau County of misdemeanor stealing of items valued at $1.46 from a local store. For the crime, she paid a $45 fine.
  • Earl Wolf has worked as a carpenter and as a truck driver. In 1961, he and two others broke into a grocery store in Mercer County and stole several items. He was convicted on misdemeanor burglary and larceny charges and received a three-year term of probation, which he successfully completed.