After 32 Years Behind Bars, Richard DeLisi Clemency Accredited

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

The early launch date follows mixed efforts by Final Prisoner Venture and professional bono attorneys Chiara JusterElizabeth Buchanan, and Michael Minardi, of their dietary supplements to DeLisi’s clemency utility 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. Whereas in jail, Richard’s son Stephen, his spouse, and each of his dad and mom handed away. Happily, Richard will be capable to spend this Christmas together with his two dwelling youngsters, Ashley and Rick, and his 5 grandchildren for the very first time.

Upon receiving the information Richard expressed to his authorized crew: “It feels amazingly fantastic to know that I will likely be house with my household and family members very quickly. I’m grateful to everybody who has been there and helped me alongside in these lengthy years. I’ve missed so many necessary moments with them and I can’t wait to get on the market and create treasured recollections with everybody. I’m so thrilled that this darkish chapter of my life is lastly over.”

“Richard’s authentic sentence was horrifying again in 1989; it’s much more horrifying immediately when the State of Florida licenses, regulates, and taxes the gross sales of limitless portions of medical hashish,” mentioned Steve DeAngelo, Final Prisoner Venture Co-Founder & Chairman Emeritus Harborside. “The sky has not fallen; the brand new legal guidelines are thought-about a hit, and the state could be very pleased with the elevated tax income— however Richard can by no means be absolutely repaid for the a long time that had been stolen from him. The easiest way to honor him by ensuring this by no means occurs to anyone else.”

Jim Belushi, Founding father of Belushi’s Farm and Final Prisoner Venture Advisory Board Member mentioned, “Freedom! Freedom! My Lord, freedom! Mr. DeLisi is lastly free to be together with his household, his pals, and himself. Though within the courts this legal injustice has been righted, his life has been stolen from him. Let’s return to their households and society all the opposite 40,000 lives which were stolen and allow them to go.” Belushi, who has already dedicated a donation towards DeLisi’s re-entry fund, added this call-to-action, “He wants our help, now. He wants our assist for his re-entry into freedom.”

“It’s about time… actually… it’s all about time…,” mentioned Musician and Final Prisoner Venture Advisory Board Member Damian Marley. “time served… time spent away from household and family members… time that’s gone eternally… congratulations to Mr. DeLisi … it’s about time!!!”

“I’m completely overjoyed to study Richard’s upcoming launch,” mentioned Final Prisoner Venture’s Managing Director Mary Bailey. “His story actually hits house for me as a result of his costs had been from my hometown of Polk County. I’m so extremely grateful to all the activists, attorneys and journalists who’ve labored in direction of the shared aim of Richard being united together with his loving household. The truth that Richard and his household will likely be reunited in time for the vacations this yr warms my coronary heart.”

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

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

“It’s a unhappy fact that youngsters of those that are incarcerated are additionally given a sentence. They’ll lastly be happy when Ashley’s desires of hugging her dad within the free world come to fruition,” added Lead Lawyer Juster.

Donate to Richard DeLisi’s Reentry Assist Fund here.



The Final Prisoner Venture (LPP) is a nonprofit group devoted to cannabis-related legal justice reform. As the US strikes away from the criminalization of hashish, giving rise to a serious new trade, there stays the basic injustice inflicted upon those that have suffered underneath America’s unjust coverage of hashish prohibition. Via intervention, advocacy and consciousness campaigns, the Final Prisoner Venture works to redress the previous and persevering with harms of those inhumane and ineffective legal guidelines and insurance policies. Go to or textual content FREEDOM to 24365 to donate and be taught extra.