|Voter's Guide, 2020 Fall Elections, Louisiana
|Position ||Appeals Court Judges: 3rd Circuit, 2nd Dist., Elec. Sec. 1C |
|Name||Sharon Darville Wilson|
|Present Employer / position||District Judge 14th Judicial District Court|
|Length of residence in Jurisdiction||28 years|
|List of educational institutions and degrees||Louisiana State University-1988 B.A. Criminal Justice Minor Philosophy(Religious Studies)|
Louisiana State University, Paul M. Herbert Law Center- 1991 Juris Doctor (J.D.)
|Prior elected and appointed positions||District Judge 14th JDC 2 terms|
Lake Charles Fire and Police Civil Service Board (Former)
Executive Board Member Louisiana District Judges Association (2018- present)
Executive Committee for Judicial Council/National Bar Association (2015-2020)
Judiciary Commission, appointed by Louisiana Supreme Court (2019- present)
School Board Member Hamilton Christian School and a Past President of Board
|Civic involvement and affiliations||National Association of University Women(NAUW) Lake Charles Branch|
Top Ladies of Distinction,Inc Lake Charles Chapter
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.-Zeta Psi Omega Chapter
Louisiana Home and Foreign Mission Baptist State Convention/National Baptist Convention of America Inc.
Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, Lake Charles,LA
Questions specific to the position
|1. Describe your appellate practice trial experience as an attorney.
||After graduating from LSU Law School, I began my career as an Assistant District Attorney in Calcasieu Parish, where I prosecuted and took to trial a broad spectrum of very serious crimes. As a result of my work, as well as the success I achieved, after 7 years I was asked to join the Allen Parish District Attorney’s Office as a Chief Felony Prosecutor and served there 3 years. Following this, I returned to the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office as a Specialty Prosecutor. |
Throughout my tenure as a prosecutor, I prosecuted both minor and the most serious of felony offences, including a capital murder case. I also took numerous appeals on various issues to the Third Circuit Court of Appeal and the Louisiana Supreme Court, so both my trial and appellate experience are extensive and set me apart in this race. After serving 17 years as an Assistant District Attorney I left the District Attorney’s Office, and I worked in private practice for 5 years and handled cases spanning numerous areas of the law. Likewise, in this capacity, I handled a variety of matters with the Third Circuit Court of Appeal as well as the Louisiana Supreme Court.
|2. Describe your experience researching, analyzing and writing judicial opinions.
||As a judge, I have researched, analyzed, and made decisions in response to many legal questions. Each time I approach this task, I do so earnestly, guided by my faith in God as well as life experience. |
My priority has and will always be to get it right based on the law and evidence presented. I am not an advocate, and I do not argue for one side or the other. My role, in its purest form, is to be fair to all. And although all judges decide cases that involve issues important to them, we must – without fail - remain fair and impartial. Doing so is fundamental to our job, and I take great pride in my ability (and continuous commitment) to do just that.
| 3. In a June 8th letter, Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Johnson acknowledged "the part we each play in maintaining a system that leaves many of our fellow citizens, especially our African American citizens, feeling that they cannot breathe." Do you agree that the Louisiana criminal justice system disproportionately impacts African Americans? In your role reviewing cases, what can you, as an Appeals Court Judge, do to address this situation?"
||Anyone who has taken the time to review research on this issue will tell you the Louisiana Criminal Justice System disproportionately affects African Americans, particularly African American men. The list of causes for this is lengthy. When it comes to what I can do to be a part of the solution to combat this challenge, I believe my unwavering allegiance to fairness and impartiality in every case, every time, and with everyone, along with my record of integrity, compassion, and wisdom from experience, demonstrates I have always sought to be a part of the solution. And that will not change. |
|4. What are your views as a judicial candidate about streamlining procedures and preventing lawsuit abuse, while also ensuring access to the courts, particularly for lower income and indigent parties?
||A citizen’s access to justice is essential to maintaining the freedom and security we enjoy as a country and a right about which I am deeply passionate. As former United States Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall, stated, “Equal means getting the same thing, at the same time, and in the same place.” |
To that end, in 1997, when the Access to Justice Committee of the Southwest LA Bar Association was created, I served as its first Chairperson. And what I know is this: unfortunately, access to justice remains a significant issue. No matter what, everyone deserves their day in court, and what justice he/she receives, or when he/she receives it, should not depend on his/her financial position. Further of note for us in Southwest LA, is this challenge will only be exacerbated by the affects and resulting delays of COVID-19 and Hurricane Laura.
The Third Circuit and Louisiana Supreme Court have implemented several programs aimed to address access to justice issues, and I look forward to supporting and contributing to these.
Lastly, regarding meritless claims, the legal system, much like the interstate system, has numerous off ramps to dispose of such cases, and many of these do not ultimately make it to trial.