Free Patty Prewitt
Reunite a family after over three decades of injustice
News: Patty Featured on Dr. Phil
Listen to Wrongful Conviction with Maggie Freleng
People Magazine: Did Sexism Put Patty Behind Bars?
Patty Prewitt is a 73-year-old mother of five, grandmother of thirteen, and a great-grandmother.
For the past 37 years, she has been serving a life sentence after being convicted of the murder of her husband Bill, a crime for which she has unwaveringly maintained her innocence.
Patty is not eligible for parole until 2036 when she will be 86. Until then, her only hope of release is for Missouri Governor Mike Parson to grant her clemency.
Clemency for Patty Prewitt
There is no public purpose for Patty Prewitt’s continued incarceration after 36 years
A Grossly Inadequate Investigation.
From the earliest moments of the investigation, police focused on Patty as the prime suspect. They ignored credible leads pointing to an intruder and failed to collect key evidence that could identify the individual who assaulted Patty and murdered her husband. The result was an investigation marred by tunnel vision, a common cause of wrongful convictions. These errors by investigators are not Patty’s fault, but Patty and her family are paying the price.
The wife’s good for it. We ought to have it wrapped up in a day or two.”LEAD INVESTIGATOR
A Deeply Flawed Trial.
To secure a conviction, the state relied on the testimony of a discredited pathologist who mischaracterized forensic evidence to make Patty appear guilty. To move the jury, the prosecutor falsely portrayed Patty as a bad mother. The prosecutor mockingly referred to Patty’s defense as one that relied on an intruder conducting the murder “to enjoy Mrs. Prewitt’s oft-enjoyed sexual favors.” Jurors were not told of a neighbor’s account of a suspicious vehicle near the Prewitt home the night of murder. The prosecutor instructed jurors that the “dignity of the institution of marriage” required a conviction.
Based on my decades of experience in the courtroom, I have no doubt that that the jury would not have convicted Patty had they heard the neighbor’s account of the suspicious vehicle. This was the missing link to our defense, and the missing evidence for the jury.”PATTY’S TRIAL ATTORNEY, RETIRED JUDGE ROBERT BEAIRD
An Inspiration To Generations Of Women Behind Bars.
During her 37 years in prison, Patty has obtained multiple academic diplomas, served the state as a computer programmer, and volunteered thousands of community service hours. More importantly, she has enriched the lives of women who have served with her; many now live productive lives on the outside. As one former inmate said, “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.”
Despite her life sentence, Patty has accomplished more, given more, and touched the lives of more individuals than many of us outside of prison will ever achieve.”
Former Missouri Department of Corrections Director George Lombardi
A Family Who Wants Her Home.
The Prewitt children lost their father as a result of the crime for which Patty was wrongfully convicted. The oldest Prewitt child, Jane, 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 children and the many Prewitt grandchildren pray for Patty’s release. Jane even has a bedroom waiting for her mother.
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.”Jane watkins, Patty’s Daughter
A Governor Who Can Free Patty Today.
The state of Missouri has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep Patty behind bars and will spend even more to keep her locked up as she ages. By granting Patty Prewitt clemency, Missouri Governor Mike Parson can put an end to this wasteful use of taxpayer dollars, stop a continuing injustice, and show mercy to Patty and her children. Patty’s pending clemency petition was submitted in 2010. It is time for the Governor to use his constitutional authority to free Patty.
With the stroke of a pen, Gov. Parson can reunite Prewitt with her family, end the pointless continuation of her incarceration, and stop the wasteful expenditure of tax dollars.”REPRESENTATIVES SHAMED DOGAN AND TRACY MCCREERY