Clemency for our Mother, Bernetta LaShay Willis

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Our mother, Bernetta Willis, was sentenced to 43 years in prison, which is the longest sentence handed down for a Hurricane Katrina fraud in the country, per U. S. Attorney Leura Canary. She was charged in this conspiracy along with 7 others, all of whom testified against our mother.  All of the other co-defendants accepted plea bargains to receive probation and testify against our mother to save their own skins.  Our mother does not have those types of skills which require that she testify against others, so she became their scapegoat and therefore, received the longest sentence ever.  To this day our mother does not fully understand how she was charged and convicted.

Included in the fraud conspiracy, our mother was charged with 22 different counts of theft of government property, identify theft, filing false claims, conspiracy, threatening a witness, using a handgun, distributing marijuana, possessing a firearm and lying to a federal officer.  The government conflated the amount our mother was charged with from $79, 607. up to $471,600. based the attempts of all conspiracy members and the "intent" to defraud which resulted in a 14 level enhancement of sentence length.   

Still our mother has expressed deep remorse for her participation in a scheme that she herself was asked to participate in.  She has already served 10 years with nearly perfect conduct. Moreover, our mother has numerous medical and mental complications that she is not getting proper treatment for.  The improper medical treatment has negatively impacted her health and she is no longer able to do day-to-day activities.  She has been denied the right to see outside physicians for her severe heart conditions.   In February she was hospitalized for bypass surgery due to blood clots.  With proper, proactive (not reactive) treatment from heart specialists some of her medical conditions might be avoided and she might not be forced to be on blood thinners for the rest of her life.  

When our mother went to prison, we were left without the nurturing and motherly love that only a mother can give her children.  Her three youngest children are in foster care due to her imprisonment.  My mother has missed numerous special occasions such as birthdays, graduations, high school sporting events, and the amazing births of her beautiful grandchildren, which she has not had the opportunity to meet as of yet.

Our mother's release date is not until August 2, 2043.  Our mother is very concerned about how her health is deteriorating and she is in desperate need of a medical treatment specifically to help her with her conditions.  We miss her and she misses us.

Please access her profile on CAN-DO Clemency to read more about our mother, Bernetta Willis.  http://www.candoclemency.com/bernetta-willis/



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