Miscarriage of Justice: How Missouri Woman was Wrongly Jailed for 43 Years

A 63-year-old Missouri woman, Sandra “Sandy” Hemme, who was imprisoned for more than 40 years for murder, has been released after spending 43 years in prison for a murder she did not commit.

According to The Guardian report, Hemme was convicted in 1985 as a result of the incriminating statements she as a psychiatric patient.

However, a judge has now ruled that there is “clear and convincing” evidence that she was innocent of the crime.

The 63-year-old was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the 1980 murder of a library worker, Patricia Jeschke, in St Joseph, Missouri.

In a 118-page memorandum, Livingston County Circuit Judge Ryan Horsman said “evidence directly” ties a now-deceased police officer to the killing of Patricia Jeschke.

Judge Horsman has ordered Hemme’s release within the next 30 days unless prosecutors decide to retry the case.

This ruling followed a January evidentiary hearing where Hemme’s legal team presented compelling arguments supporting her innocence.

According to the Innocence Project, Hemme’s legal representatives, her case marks the longest-known wrongful conviction of a woman in American history.

Hemme’s lawyers recounted her history, noting she was a mental hospital patient at the time of her arrest, making “wildly contradictory” and “factually impossible” claims that authorities ignored.

At 20, Hemme was undergoing treatment for drug use, de-realization, and auditory hallucinations, having been in inpatient mental health care since age 12.

They also revealed that she was restrained and heavily medicated, and accused the police of exploiting her mental illness by coercing her into false statements while she was sedated with antipsychotic medication.

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