FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WKMG) — While serving a 90-year prison sentence for selling marijuana, Richard DeLisi’s wife died, as did his 23-year-old son and both his parents. His adult daughter was in a horrific car accident and suffered a paralyzing stroke as a result. He never met two granddaughters.
DeLisi, 71, walked out of a Florida prison Tuesday morning. After serving 31 years, DeLisi is believed to be the longest-serving nonviolent cannabis prisoner, according to the The Last Prisoner Project, which championed his release.
DeLisi was sentenced to 90 years for marijuana trafficking in 1989 at the age of 40 even though the typical sentence was only 12 to 17 years. He believes he was targeted with the lengthy sentence because the judge mistakenly thought he was part of organized crime because he was an Italian from New York.