The Last Prisoner Project and Michael Minardi of Minardi Law, along with Mariah Daly J.D. and attorneys Chiara Juster & Elizabeth Buchanan, are petitioning Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for the potentially life-saving release of Richard DeLisi. Richard is a 71-year old man who received a 90 year prison term for nonviolent cannabis offenses that the Florida Sentencing Guidelines recommended he serve a 12-17 year prison sentence for. The attorneys have teamed up with Last Prisoner Project as a part of the group’s Cannabis Clemency Project, an effort to release those still incarcerated in the US for nonviolent cannabis offenses.
Beyond righting an obvious sentencing injustice, this request for release is now urgent because Richard is incarcerated at Florida’s South Bay Correctional Facility (SBCF) — a hotspot for coronavirus. At SBCF, 335 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 and three inmates have died. Additionally, 79 staff members have tested positive — the highest number for any facility in the state of Florida. Over the span of 72 hours, Florida’s COVID death toll among inmates increased by nearly 28 percent, raising the total number of inmate deaths from 36 to 46 over the July 31st weekend.
Richard’s health problems include asthma, arthritis, diabetes, neuropathy, high blood pressure, back issues, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Richard’s release date is currently set for August 26, 2022 but due to COVID-19 that day may never come.
Clemency could save Richard’s life as well as save Floridians $70,000 per year. Overall, Florida’s state prison population increased by 11-fold between 1970 and 2014 with a $1.1 billion increase in corrections expenditures and Florida’s elderly prison population has increased at a faster rate than any other age group over the past 10 years.
The legal team is hoping that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will be made aware of Richard DeLisi’s case and grant him clemency grant and commute his sentence so he can be released immediately.
We are asking the media to help us inform the citizens of Florida about this issue and to call for Governor Ron DeSantis to set Richard DeLisi free. Supporters can urge Governor DeSantis to spare Richard from dying in prison due to COVID-19 by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, please visit https://www.lastprisonerproject.org/post/meet-richard-delisi-the-longest-serving-nonviolent-prisoner-in-the-united-states-for-cannabis and www.freedelisi.com.
ABOUT LAST PRISONER PROJECT
The Last Prisoner Project (LPP) is a coalition of cannabis industry leaders, executives and artists dedicated to bringing restorative justice to the cannabis industry. LPP is dedicated to releasing cannabis prisoners and helping them rebuild their lives. As the United States moves away from the criminalization of cannabis, giving rise to a major new industry, there remains the fundamental injustice inflicted upon those who have suffered criminal convictions and the consequences of those convictions. Through intervention, advocacy and awareness campaigns, the forces behind the Last Prisoner Project will work to redress the past and continuing harms of these unjust laws and policies and are dedicated to making sure that every last victimless cannabis prisoner walks free. Visit www.LastPrisonerProject.org or text FREEDOM to 24365 to donate and learn more.