According to a nonprofit, Richard DeLisi, who is described as America’s longest serving inmate for nonviolent marijuana crimes will be sprung “early” from a Florida prison next month.
DeLisi, who is 71, has served 32 years behind bars. He was hit with a 90-year sentence in 1989 by a Polk County judge for marijuana trafficking.
The inmate will be released in December from the Sunshine State’s South Bay Correctional Facility said the Last Prisoner Project, a nonprofit working for criminal justice reform related to cannabis crimes.
“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,” DeLisi said.
“If I could go back to 1988 I would tell my former self to put more value in the time I spend with my family. I have learned that money is something that comes and goes but family is forever,” he said.
DeLisi added, “I will take that lesson home with me and I will make the most of every moment I have left on this earth with my wonderful family. I am so excited to hug my children and grandchildren. 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.”
While in prison, DeLisi’s son, wife and both parents passed away, the Last Project said.
Remaining friends and family, including his two children and five grandchildren, are “eager” to celebrate his early release. “I just want to hug my dad outside of prison,” said DeLisi’s daughter Ashley.