May 5th, 2014
December 25th, 2013

Post-Dispatch: Clemency For Patty

In a Christmas Eve editorial, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch called on Governor Nixon to utilize the “most powerful justice tool available to a state’s chief executive, the power of clemency.”  Noting that the clemency powerful can change lives and “be merciful and just,” the editorial highlighted several worth clemency petitions, including Patty’s petition.  Patty “has been singled out by numerous elected officials, Democrats and Republicans alike, along with judges and corrections advocates as a perfect candidate for pardon.”

The editorial also quoted former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich who stated in regard to clemency: “Using it wisely and regularly does justice, changes lives and fulfills a constitutional duty.”

Let’s hope Governor Nixon listens to the Post-Dispatch, Governor Ehrlich and so many others this holiday season.

Read the full editorial here.

December 15th, 2013

A Practical and Humane Appeal

In a response to Robert Beaird’s recent op-ed in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Webster University English Professor Margot Sempreora wrote a letter to the editor in support of Patty’s clemency.  Reflecting on her experience with Patty as a prison volunteer, Sempreora wrote:

My appeal to Gov. Nixon is both practical and humane: Even for those who believe that Patty deserves to be in prison, she has more than served her time and her family needs her at home; in addition, it does not serve the people of this state to continue to spend thousands per annum to incarcerate a woman who, when released, will be a productive, taxpaying citizen.

Gov. Nixon, in this season of giving, please make use of the executive power of clemency and of your own sense of justice and mercy.

Read the entire editorial here.  

December 7th, 2013

Associated Press Reports on Patty’s Clemency Petition

The Associated Press reported on Patty’s clemency request to Governor Nixon in an article picked up by several publications.  The article highlighted the recent petition started by Patty’s daughter as well as the youtube video created by Patty’s grandchildren.  Patty’s trial lawyer Robert Beaird stated that the odds of Patty getting clemency this time should be 100 percent, given the questionable circumstances of her murder conviction.  The Governor’s spokesperson had no comment.  Read the article here and sign the petition here.  Let’s hope that our voices are heard and that the Governor will do the right thing.

December 2nd, 2013

A Call for Clemency from Former Judge Robert Beaird

The Kansas City Star published an op-ed by former Missouri Judge Robert Beaird.  Judge Beaird was Patty’s trial lawyer prior to becoming a prosecutor and judge.  Beaird writes: 

I was Patty’s lead defense lawyer when she was convicted of the murder of her husband nearly 30 years ago. Investigators were all too quick to judge Patty as their prime suspect, and they failed to collect and in some cases simply ignored key evidence, preventing us from fully presenting Patty’s account of a home intruder that attacked her and killed her husband.

He continues:

This is precisely the kind of situation the drafters of our federal and state constitutions had in mind in providing for executive clemency power. When courts and the parole board have no power to intervene, it is incumbent on the governor to ensure the fair administration of the justice system. The exercise of executive clemency presents our governor with the leadership opportunity to do so.

He concludes:

No one doubts that she will be a productive citizen outside of prison. Gov. Nixon would be doing what is fair and just if he grants Patty clemency this holiday season. As Patty’s defense lawyer, and as a former prosecutor and retired judge, I urge him to embrace his constitutional leadership mantle and grant Patty clemency during this season when we are all thankful of God’s grace.

Read the entire article here.

November 25th, 2013

A plea for clemency from Patty’s grandchildren.

November 18th, 2013

A call for a Clemency Sabbath

Sister Mary Ann McGivern, a Catholic nun, has made a call for leaders of faith congregations to preach about clemency the weekend after Thanksgiving.  She was interviewed on a radio program where she spoke about Patty’s case as exemplifying the need for clemency.  Listen here.

September 18th, 2013

Patty’s Writing Featured in New Book

Too Cruel, Not Unusual Enough, an anthology published by The Other Death Penalty Project, features stories written by prisoners serving life without parole sentences across the country.  Patty contributed a short story called “Slow Death Row.” The book can be purchased here.

September 3rd, 2013

Patty’s Play Performed at Kennedy Center

A one-act play written by Patty called “Clarity” was performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC on August 31.  The play was put on by the Safe Streets Arts Foundation as part of the Kennedy Center’s annual Page to Stage Festival.  Patty’s play was one of 12 plays selected among a group of entries submitted from across the country.  You can read more about the performance here.

May 8th, 2013

A Week in the Life of Patty Through the Eyes of her Cellmate

The letter transcribed below was authored by Patty’s cellmate, Amy.  

My name is Amy.  I know Patty Prewitt and I know how she lends a helping hand to others.  I know all of this because I am Patty’s roommate and I see it all on a daily basis.  I want to walk you through a week in the life of Patty through my eyes.  Hold on to your hats; it can get intense, my friends!

Monday morning starts early, up before daylight, getting ready to go to her job as a computer programmer.  She’s the lead there and has all the extra responsibility that being 17 years at one job can bring.  On her lunch hour she grabs a bite to eat and takes time to call her family whom she adores, and they adore her.  After finishing her work day, she goes straight to the gym to teach an hour of aerobics.  It’s the most populated class always and, I can tell you firsthand, it is super physically taxing.  She’s 63-years-old and runs us youngsters hard!  Personally, I’m wore out, but her night is not done.  She takes the night to answer the multiple questions that are brought to the door, sits down with other inmates to give advice or help with a test they have, etc.

Now Tuesday rolls in - basically Monday through Friday is the full time job and calls to home.  But Tuesday nights she has Catholic services; Wednesday, she teaches another aerobics class the answers those countless questions that never seem to stop, at least from where I’m sitting.

I want to point out that Patty has such an approachable personality, a ferocious laugh, and a genuine daily positive attitude.  It’s impossible for people not to be drawn to her and just as impossible for her to turn anyone away.

Now, let’s gear up for Thursday.  Thursdays are what I call her long days.  She works in the morning, then goes directly to the Prison Performing Arts class where she earns college credits in the theatre class.  She is a huge part of the play process and twice a year a play is put on.  Then that night, as another part of the PPA, she attends the Spoken Word Poetry class.  She is so helpful to all the firls in the class and is always excited with everyone’s achievements.  

Then Friday aerobics class, more sweat, sweat, sweat for all!  Friday nights bring 4H class where the inmates can learn to stay involved and engaged with their children and grandchildren.  Once a month on Saturdays, 4H has all the kids come to the visiting room for multiple activities.  It’s great fun for all involved!

Sundays are spent catching up on the unbelievable volume of mail she receives, then a meditative Yoga class she teaches in the afternoon.  Then the whole process repeats itself along with the extra things that come along with being an inmate.

She’s a truly amazing woman that puts 110% into any and every project she undertakes.

I really hope you have enjoyed my play-by-play.  It’s exciting to witness all she is and all she does on a daily basis.

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