A Florida man who was sentenced to 90 years in prison in 1989 for promoting marijuana was released Tuesday morning from the South Bay Correctional Facility in Palm Beach County, the Florida Department of Corrections confirmed.
71-year-old Richard DeLisi is believed to be the longest-serving inmate convicted on hashish fees.
“I’m a blessed human being, a survivor,” DeLisi stated in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday while he was in the car parking zone of his favourite hamburger joint as he watched his 11-year-old and 1-year-old granddaughters chuckle and bounce a ball.
DeLisi’s spouse died while he was in prison, as did his 23-year-old son and each his mother and father – a lifetime of painful reminiscences, CBS reported. His grownup daughter was in a horrific automobile accident and suffered a paralyzing stroke in consequence, the report stated.
DeLisi was 40 in 1989 when he was sentenced to 90 years. He bought lengthy sentence as a result of the choose mistakenly thought he was a part of organized crime as a result of he was an Italian from New York, in response to the CBS report. He stated he had alternatives, however by no means had any want for that life.
During his time in prison, DeLisi’s household reportedly spent greater than $250,000 on attorneys’ charges and over $80,000 on long-distance worldwide gather calls.
DeLisi prefers to maneuver on as a substitute of dwelling on misplaced reminiscences and time he’ll by no means get again. He doesn’t have any exhausting feeling however is grateful and hopeful.
“Prison changed me”, he said. “I never really knew who God was and now I know and it changed the way I talk to people and treat people,” stated DeLisi, who grew to become a mentor to youthful inmates. “For me, being there so long, I was able to take gang members from gangs to gentleman.”
He now needs “to make the best of every bit of my time” combating for the discharge of different inmates by means of his group FreeDeLisi.com.
“The system needs to change and I’m going to try my best to be an activist,” he stated.
(*31*) Juster, a former Florida prosecutor who dealt with the case professional bono for the The Last Prisoner Project, criticized DeLisi’s prolonged sentence as “a sick indictment of our nation.”
A invoice to decriminalize marijuana at Federal degree was handed final week by the House of Representatives, a transfer they stated will “address the devastating injustices caused by the War on Drugs.”