Tony NenningerAttorney/MediatorGoodwater Legal ServicesMo. Bar No. 6100294 Huzzah Club Road573-775-5263Bourbon, MO email@example.com
June 6, 2013Governor Jay NixonMissouri State CapitolRe: Jeff Mizanskey Executive Clemency ApplicationDear Governor Nixon,I recently became aware of the extreme sentence imposed on Jeff Mizanskey for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. I represent Mr. Mizanskey and am writing to supplement his pending pro se application for executive clemency.Jeff is serving a sentence of life without parole for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.Jeff had never been incarcerated prior to his current conviction. Jeff was sentenced as a prior and persistent drug offender because of prior felony guilty pleas for sale of one ounce of marijuana and possession of over 35 grams of marijuana on November 19, 1984; and a conviction for possession of over 35 grams of marijuana on October 9, 1991. There were no weapons, violence, juveniles or other aggravating factors involved in any of his convictions. Jeff's current conviction is based on his arrestalmost 20 years ago on December 19, 1993 for being a driver for another person who had purchasedapproximately seven pounds of marijuana from informants in a hotel room while he was present.I have reviewed legal files from Mr. Mizanskey's appeals. The merits of those legal arguments are beyond the scope of this plea for executive clemency, except to note that the Court of Appeals foundthere was sufficient evidence to convict Jeff and that there was no need for plain error review of numerous legal arguments that have not been judicially addressed because of the failure of Jeff'sattorneys to raise those issues in a timely manner. I am willing to prepare a briefing of those legalissues if your office indicates an interest in granting clemency for Jeff and it would be helpful for youto review the merits of those legal arguments that have not been judicially considered.The main focus of this supplement to Mr. Mizanskey's pending pro se application for executiveclemency is the extreme harshness of Jeff's sentence. I am not aware of any other person in Missouriwho is serving a life sentence for non-violent cannabis-only offenses. It is no secret that all recentmajor polls indicate over 50% of Americans, including Missourians, favor the complete legalization of adult use of marijuana. We are not asking you to commit to this new majority preference for cannabislegalization, but rather as Governor of Missouri to represent the current population's modernsociopolitical trends to liberalize marijuana laws in considering the commutation of Jeff's sentence.When Jeff was sentenced on June 19, 1996 the population and the judiciary were guided by hystericalmisinformation about cannabis that has since been clarified by more extensive science. Modern judicial sentencing practices reflect this science and the population's recognition that cannabis is not thescourge of society that it was once thought to be. It is reasonable for you to commute Jeff's sentenceconsistent with modern sentencing practices.