When Jeff Mizanskey entered prison in 1996, the Spice Girls were still together, the Backstreet Boys were on the verge of making it big, and everybody was still using AOL Instant Messenger. Now, he walks into a completely different world after serving 20 years of a life sentence for a nonviolent offense. His crime? Selling marijuana to a dealer connected to Mexican drug lords, according to NBC News.
Mizanskey’s harsh sentence came at the hands of a Missouri law cracking down on repeat drug offenders. He was previously convicted for possession and sale of the illegal substance in 1984, and for possession in 1991.
As the only nonviolent prisoner serving life without parole, supporters comprised of family members, lawmakers, and advocates looking to legalize the drug lobbied for his release with the argument that it was too severe.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon commuted his sentence back in May after citing Mizanskey’s nonviolent record. And it looks like others won’t be walking in his footsteps—the law has since been changed.