After 32 Years Behind Bars, Richard DeLisi Clemency Approved

Christmas is coming early this yr for hashish offender Richard DeLisi and his household. According to jail officers at South Bay Correctional Facility, DeLisi, America’s longest serving nonviolent hashish prisoner, might be launched subsequent month — 18 months forward of schedule. This would be the first Christmas since 1988 that DeLisi doesn’t need to spend behind bars.

The early launch date follows mixed efforts by Last Prisoner Project and professional bono attorneys Chiara JusterElizabeth Buchanan, and Michael Minardi, of their dietary supplements to DeLisi’s clemency software and their devoted advocation on his behalf to native officers and key stakeholders in Florida.

Richard DeLisi started his 90-year-sentence in jail for marijuana trafficking on December 5, 1989 on the age of 40. While in jail, Richard’s son Stephen, his spouse, and each of his mother and father handed away. Fortunately, Richard will be capable of spend this Christmas along with his two residing kids, Ashley and Rick, and his 5 grandchildren for the very first time.

Upon receiving the information Richard expressed to his authorized staff: “It feels amazingly wonderful to know that I will be home with my family and loved ones very soon. I am grateful to everyone who has been there and helped me along in these long years. I have missed so many important moments with them and I can’t wait to get out there and create precious memories with everyone. I am so thrilled that this dark chapter of my life is finally over.”

“Richard’s original sentence was horrifying back in 1989; it is even more horrifying today when the State of Florida licenses, regulates, and taxes the sales of unlimited quantities of medical cannabis,” mentioned Steve DeAngelo, Last Prisoner Project Co-Founder & Chairman Emeritus Harborside. “The sky has not fallen; the new laws are considered a success, and the state is very happy with the increased tax revenue— but Richard can never be fully repaid for the decades that were stolen from him. The best way to honor him by making sure this never happens to anybody else.”

Jim Belushi, Founder of Belushi’s Farm and Last Prisoner Project Advisory Board Member mentioned, “Freedom! Freedom! My Lord, freedom! Mr. DeLisi is finally free to be with his family, his friends, and himself. Although in the courts this criminal injustice has been righted, his life has been stolen from him. Let’s return to their families and society all the other 40,000 lives that have been stolen and let them go.” Belushi, who has already dedicated a donation towards DeLisi’s re-entry fund, added this call-to-action, “He needs our support, now. He needs our help for his re-entry into freedom.”

“It’s about time… literally… it’s all about time…,” mentioned Musician and Last Prisoner Project Advisory Board Member Damian Marley. “time served… time spent away from family and loved ones… time that is gone forever… congratulations to Mr. DeLisi … it’s about time!!!”

“I am absolutely overjoyed to learn about Richard’s upcoming release,” mentioned Last Prisoner Project’s Managing Director Mary Bailey. “His story really hits home for me because his charges were from my hometown of Polk County. I am so incredibly grateful to all of the activists, attorneys and journalists who have worked towards the shared goal of Richard being united with his loving family. The fact that Richard and his family will be reunited in time for the holidays this year warms my heart.”

Chiara Juster, Lead Attorney who was matched with Richard via LPP’s professional bono launch program, was additionally ecstatic in regards to the information. The former Florida prosecutor expressed her disbelief that DeLisi, a nonviolent offender incarcerated for a hashish offense, is barely now being launched in 2021 and solely after preventing tooth-and-nail for over three a long time. “We participated in decarcerating someone who couldn’t deserve it more.” mentioned Juster.

DeLisi’s daughter, Ashley, who hasn’t spent a birthday together with her father since she was three years previous mentioned, “I just want to hug my dad outside of prison.” DeLisi’s son Rick additionally expressed his elation at having the ability to cook dinner a meal for his dad and introduce him to his grandkids.

“It is a sad truth that children of those who are incarcerated are also given a sentence. They will finally feel free when Ashley’s dreams of hugging her dad in the free world come to fruition,” added Lead Attorney Juster.

Donate to Richard DeLisi’s Reentry Support Fund here.



The Last Prisoner Project (LPP) is a nonprofit group devoted to cannabis-related felony justice reform. As the United States strikes away from the criminalization of hashish, giving rise to a significant new trade, there stays the elemental injustice inflicted upon those that have suffered beneath America’s unjust coverage of hashish prohibition. Through intervention, advocacy and consciousness campaigns, the Last Prisoner Project works to redress the previous and persevering with harms of those inhumane and ineffective legal guidelines and insurance policies. Visit or textual content FREEDOM to 24365 to donate and be taught extra.


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