Missouri Governor Mike Parson: Free Patty Prewitt

Missouri Governor Mike Parson: Free Patty Prewitt

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Justice for Patty started this petition

Dear Governor Parson:

We, the undersigned, urge you to use your constitutional authority to grant Patricia “Patty” Prewitt clemency and release her from prison.  Patty has now served over 36 years in prison for a crime for which she has unwaveringly maintained her innocence. Here are just a few reasons for the release of Patty Prewitt:

  • A Flawed Investigation and Trial Led to Conviction: Prewitt was arrested after a hasty investigation in which leads were ignored and key evidence not collected from the crime scene. Such “tunnel vision” exhibited by investigators has been found to be a leading cause of wrongful convictions. At trial, the prosecution relied on a discredited forensic expert and sexist attacks on Patty’s character to convince the jury.
  • The Prewitt Children’s Strong Support for Clemency: The Prewitt children lost their father as a result of the crime for which their mother was convicted. Their eldest daughter described the murder of her father and the conviction of her mother as a “double tragedy” that orphaned her and her siblings. Today, the four living Prewitt children and the many Prewitt grandchildren pray for the release of their mother and will ensure her successful reentry. As her daughter writes, “My husband and I have a bedroom waiting for her. Our family will provide her all the support she needs to be a productive member of our community rather than a burden on Missouri taxpayers as a prisoner.”
  • Prewitt’s Exemplary Record and Service to Others During 36+ Years in Prison:  Patty has availed herself of countless opportunities for personal growth during her time in prison, earning an associate’s degree, a business diploma, fitness teaching certificates, and more.  She served the state as a computer programmer for over 20 years, participates in religious activities such as Resident Encounter Christ, enthusiastically engages in volunteer work and Restorative Justice projects, has been a long-time leader in Prison Performing Arts, and is currently working on completing her undergraduate degree through Washington University's Prison Education Project. More importantly, she has mentored generations of women behind bars, many of whom now live productive lives on the outside. As one former inmate writes, “I know unequivocally that I never would have found my way back to fully valuing myself had it not been for Patty’s influence and belief in me when I was struggling.”
  • After 36+ Years Prewitt’s Continued Incarceration Is Not in the State’s Interest:  Now in her seventies Patty Prewitt has been in prison since 1986. The state of Missouri has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep Prewitt behind bars and these costs will rise as she ages and her health care needs grow. We believe it is wiser to spend taxpayer money on efforts to prevent crime and reduce recidivism.

It's time for Patty to come home to her family. Governor Parson, you can make it happen with the stroke of a pen.  In light of the above, we ask that you take, as the former Director of the Missouri Department of Corrections has urged, “the just, responsible and compassionate action and grant Patty Prewitt clemency.”  

Learn more at www.pattyprewitt.com

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