Former race-car driver Randy Lanier to be released from life in prison posted breaking-news on the scheduled discharge Oct.15 of Randy Lanier, 60, after serving 26 years of a life sentence at the high-security Federal Correction Complex of Coleman in Florida for a 1988 conviction on leading a marijuana drug ring.

Autoweek contributor Jon Saraceno learned last month that U.S. District Judge J. Phil Gilbert granted a motion by the federal government to reduce Lanier’s life sentence and approved his pending release. Earlier this year, U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. endorsed a proposal to reduce sentencing for convicted drug dealers while seeking to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders.

“He has served his time with dignity and respect. He has helped mentor young people in the prison system,” shared Stephen Ross Johnson, lead attorney for Lanier since 2002.

The brief order issued by Judge Gilbert gives no reason for the sentence reduction. In addition to his life sentence, Lanier was given an additional maximum of 40 years on a distribution charge and another five years on an IRS fraud charge. His release comes with heavy restrictions including drug-and-alcohol tests, no consumption of alcohol or patronizing establishments that sell it and no lines of credit without approval by his probation officer.

Saraceno’s article, Former IndyCar driver Randy Lanier set for prison release – – provides detailed information about Lanier’s release and his spiral from a promising racing career marked by highpoints like18 open-wheel starts for Arciero Racing and the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year title.

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