The Democratic candidate challenging Vicky Hartzler for her seat in the U.S. Congress is calling on Governor Jay Nixon to grant clemency to Jeff Mizanskey, the man serving a life sentence for non-violent marijuana offenses.
Nate Irvin, 25, kicked off his support with a press conference Monday on the capitol lawn, where Mizanskey’s brother Mike gave an emotional plea. Mizanskey, whose story is detailed in a Riverfront Times cover story, has been in jail for 21 years and has no possibility of parole. After learning about Mizanskey’s plight from Aaron Malin, the director of research for Show-Me Cannabis, Irvin said he wanted to use his race for Congress to shed light on Mizanskey’s sentence, which he calls “excessive to the point of absurdity.”
“The end goal here is to get people’s attention and to get Governor Nixon to grant clemency,” Irvin tells Daily RFT. “Hopefully, people will say as a society that justice isn’t just exacting the vengeance of the law.”
Irvin’s particular focus is campaign-finance reform, but when he heard that Mizanskey has no chance of getting out of prison without action from the governor, he decided to act. Irvin says he’ll do “everything in my power,” such as hold more press conferences and bring the issue to Nixon himself, if he’s elected to Congress.
More over at the Riverfront Times.