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Clemency For Patty Prewitt

This petition had 80 supporters

We call on Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to grant Patty Prewitt clemency.  It is time for her to come home to her family.  Only Governor Nixon can make correct this gross failure of the criminal justice system.

Patty Prewitt is serving a life sentence for the murder of her husband, Bill, in 1984, a crime that she did not commit.  The investigation that led to her conviction has the hallmarks of tunnel vision, a primary cause of wrongful convictions where investigators focus on a suspect, select and filter the evidence that will “build a case” for conviction, while ignoring or suppressing evidence that points away from guilt.  Investigators systemically ignored evidence pointing to an intruder; including exculpatory evidence that was never shared with the defense and presented to a jury.  Her trial was marred by faulty forensics and an appeal to gender bias that has no place in a courtroom.  The lead investigator’s testimony featured a series of sexually suggestive remarks ostensibly made by Patty during an unrecorded 16-hour interrogation.  The prosecution’s case relied upon attacks on Patty’s character and fitness as a mother based on relationships that took place 5+ years before murder, a time when the Prewitts were separated.  A pathologist, brought on only weeks before trial gave testimony beyond his training about the nature of Patty’s wounds, the lack of hair at the crime scene, and the possibility of the shooting taking place in darkness.  This same pathologist was discredited in a number of trials where he served as a witness for the prosecution.  Putting her faith in the criminal justice system, Patty turned down a plea bargain that would have made her eligible for parole over 20 years ago.

Meanwhile, Patty has been an inspiration to many for over 30 years. In prison, she has availed herself of every opportunity for personal growth while mentoring generations of women behind bars.  She has received multiple academic degrees, served the state as a computer programmer, and participates in activities such as Prison Performing Arts, Residents Encounter Christ, and fitness instruction.  Her clemency is supported by a bipartisan group of current and former legislators from across the state, former prison workers and volunteers, religious leaders, former inmates, and Patty and Bill’s children.  Since she is not eligible for parole for another 20 years, Patty’s only recourse is for Governor Nixon to correct this injustice by exercising his constitutional power to grant Patty clemency.  Learn more at

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