Michael Cornethan, a 62-year-old prisoner of Washington DOC since 1983, died on Saturday, November 21 of COVID, only one day after being transferred to a local hospital from Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. Some family members were just starting to re-establish a relationship with him, while others were working on a clemency case, as Michael had already served 37 years of a life without parole sentence. This is the third instance of an elder of color being sentenced to an unjust death by Washington DOC, and he will be mourned and fought for by families of Washington's incarcerated and the social justice community at large.
Michael's family called him a gentle giant, soft spoken and very kind. As a young person, he was his sister's hero and guiding angel. He leaves behind his brother Charles, sister Vivette, daughter Jannine, son Jonathan, cousin Jerry, six grandchildren he never got to meet, and many other relatives. He was much loved and will be missed.
The family is seeking assistance with funds for his cremation and remembrance, as well as assistance with living expenses for Jannine and her three children, and possibly legal funds to pursue justice for Michael. Please give generously as they mourn this untimely death during an already difficult holiday season.
**Please note that funds will be withdrawn directly by family members, not managed by or through Kristin or any other member of FOTI-- GoFundMe just does not give an option when it posts the name of the person who creates a fundraiser. Thanks for your support.**
- JOANNE Barnes
- Gail Wingender
- Ally Alexander
- Ashley Werth
Organizer and beneficiary
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