Floridas Oldest Nonviolent Cannabis Prisoner To Be Released Next Month
A man described as America's longest-serving inmate for nonviolent marijuana crimes will be released from a Florida prison in December, according to his lawyer. Richard, 71, who was sentenced to 90 years in prison in 1989 by a Polk County judge for marijuana trafficking, was to be released in December to a nonprofit that advocates criminal justice reforms related to cannabis crimes
DeLi's release comes after the Last Prisoner Project's lawyer completed his clemency petition filed earlier this year and continues to campaign for him, the organization said.
When DeLisi received the news, he said “he was grateful to everyone who had accompanied and helped him through the years. It feels incredibly nice to know that he will soon be home with his family and loved ones”.
If I could go back to 1988, I would say to my former self: "I value the time I spend with my family more than anything”. DeLisi continued: “I will take these lessons home with me and use every moment I have with my wonderful family on earth”.
“I missed so many important moments and I am so excited to hug my children and grandchildren. I can't wait to get out there and create precious memories with all of you, I miss you so much”.
Last Project noted that DeLi's remaining friends and family, including his two children and five grandchildren, are eagerly awaiting his early release. “I just want to hug my dad out of jail”, said his daughter Ashley, who last spent a birthday with her father when she was just three. Both his son, wife and parents died during his more than three decades in prison. The Last Project has reported on the deaths of De Li's wife and son's death from cancer.
In 1988, DeLisi was arrested with his older brother Ted and charged with trafficking cannabis and smuggling it from Colombia to South Florida. In 1989 he was sentenced to three consecutive 30-year terms for his role in the cannabis trade. Ted DeLisis appealed his conviction, but his appeal was rejected by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami.
Last Prisoner Project said Richard and his legal team will be officially released by the Florida Department of Corrections on December 16. The state DOC could not immediately confirm to the Post that Richard would be released next month.