America’s longest-serving, non-violent cannabis offender has been released from prison

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On Tuesday, Richard DeLisi, America’s longest-serving, non-violent cannabis offender , walked freely into the waiting arms of his family after nearly 32 years behind bars. In 1989, at the age of 40, DeLisi was charged with trafficking in cannabis, conspiracy to traffic in cannabis and violation of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO). He was sentenced to a 90-year term. His release comes after Last Prisoner Project (LPP) and pro bono attorneys Chiara Juster, Elizabeth Buchanan and Michael Minardi supplemented DeLisi’s previously filed clemency application earlier this year. After 32 years, America’s longest serving non-violent cannabis prisoner to be released next month Michael Thompson, imprisoned for 25 years for selling three pounds of cannabis, to receive parole hearing in November ‘Inmates are genuinely scared’: Why cannabis advocates are calling for the release of detained offenders “It actually feels like 10 times better than wonderful,” DeLisi, 71, told The Ledger , following his release. “It was so unjust what they did to me. I just hope that I can help other people that are in the same situation.” “We participated in decarcerating someone who couldn’t deserve it more,” Juster, a former Florida prosecutor and lead attorney on the case, said in November. “The fact that dear Richard is the longest-serving, non-violent cannabis offender currently incarcerated in our country is truly a sick indictment of our nation,” she said. The Ledger reports that the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) has denied that DeLisi’s reduced sentence was prompted by the work of advocates and outside organizations. According to an email from FDOC press secretary, a review of DeLisi’s records found that he had 390 days of outstanding release credits, which moved his release date up to May of 2021. Further, the FDOC cited DeLisi’s exemplary disciplinary record — his last disciplinary…

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