Back in October, New Times published a feature on people doing hard time for marijuana. One of the men profiled in the piece, Richard DeLisi, was sentenced in 1989 to 90 years for marijuana-related crimes, including trafficking and conspiracy to traffic.
Aging and in declining health, the 65-year-old DeLisi's fate is in the hands of a court hearing that will decide if he will have one of his felony conspiracy charges reduced to a second-degree misdemeanor. Last week, Judge Michael Raiden of the Polk County Courthouse began a 30 day deliberation over a motion filed by DeLisi's attorney, despite the state's objections.
"I've watched murderers, rapists, and child molesters all get out of jail before me," DeLisi told New Times via phone from the South Bay Correctional Facility for the October feature. "When I was smuggling, I always knew the consequences. But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it would end up like this."
DeLisi is due to be released in 2026, when he will be 77.
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