A Florida prisoner who served the longest sentence ever for a non-violent marijuana crime was set free on Tuesday — and then celebrated with a crab lunch.

Richard DeLisi, 71, was sprung from a Palm Beach County jail after serving a record-setting 31 years of his 90-year sentence for trafficking weed from Colombia to Florida in 1988, WTVX-TV reported.

“It’s really an amazing feeling but I knew it was a long time coming,” DeLisi told the station. “I’m going to celebrate at the rustic inn, eating some crabs this afternoon.”

DeLisi and his brother, Ted, were busted for trafficking, racketeering and conspiracy in a sting operation. In 1989, a strict judge handed him down an unheard-of three consecutive 30-year prison sentence, according to the station.

But activists and legal experts who reviewed  the case in following years called it overkill amid the US war on drugs.

“I can personally tell you, as a former prosecutor for Miami-Dade County, I never saw anything like this,” DeLisi’s attorney, Chiara Juster told the station. “It’s truly unjust.”

DeLisi’s early release date comes after the Last Prisoner Project — a group of lawyers and activists who battle unjust drug incarcerations — filed a clemency application earlier this year, and have continuously advocated on his behalf.

Richard DeLisi (left) is surrounded by his family after being released from prison in Palm Beach County, Florida.
The Last Prisoner Project via AP

His lawyers have argued that his old age and “several underlying chronic conditions” are a heath threat amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He was also given credit for “time served,” according to the Florida Department of Corrections.

DeLisi’s brother was released from prison after he won an appeal of his conspiracy conviction in 2013. Now that he’s a free man, DeLisi said he plans to spend time with relatives.

“It feels amazingly wonderful to know that I will be home with my family and loved ones very soon,” Richard told his legal team last month.



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