A MOTHER’S PLEA FOR JUSTICE: STORY OF LILLIE SUTTON
Lillie Sutton says, "...In this day and time when crime seems to be running rampant, especially in the Black community, it might be difficult to believe that people can still be wrongfully convicted of a crime. We, the members of TEAM SUTTON, work toward the correction of this injustice and we hope that this travesty of justice never happens to anyone else.
Why? That simple question has been the one thing that I have not been able to get an answer to since the conviction of my son, Sirvoris Sutton. In the absence of a sufficient answer, I am forced to conclude that this lack of an adequate explanation or no explanation at all is because it would provide a way for my son to prove his innocence and regain his freedom. If this is not the case, why have certain portions of the trial transcript in the case of Louisiana vs Sirvoris Sutton been lost without a trace? This fact, in itself, should be enough to constitute a retrial because the lack of accurate records is denying my son his due process of law."....
Ann Robinson Wright
On July 1, 2008, Judge Lynda Van Davis overturned Sirvoris's conviction and sentence and ordered him a new trial due to ineffectiveness of counsel and the newly discovered evidence that was withheld during trial. However, this ruling was appealed to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal by the state, and the Fourth Circuit Court reversed Judge Van Davis's ruling saying Sirvoris was out of time and had not met his burden of proof during the evidentiary hearing. The Louisiana Supreme Court upheld the Fourth Circuit ruling, which officially took away my son's new trial that was ordered by Judge Van Davis. Since that time, more evidence has surfaced which proves my son's innocence, but it has been very difficult to obtain legal counsel who's willing to stand up and fight for truth and justice once they discover that my son's case originated out of New Orleans. How long does my son, who is in fact innocent of the crime he was convicted of, have to sit in prison? Appeal after appeal, denial after denial, I have never given up hope that one day my son will be a free man. As a mother, I'm compelled, as all mothers should be, to protect and help my child. However, I'm also a law abiding citizen of this great country, and whole-heartedly believe that all men were created equal and are endowed by his creator with certain unalienable rights. Unfortunately, my son's right to a fair and impartial trial was not afforded to him. I was there! I witnessed this travesty of a trial, as so many mothers of incarcerated children have had to do, and realized that the rights of some people aren't as self-evident as others. No injustice can remain seated when "we the people" come together and demand change. Our fight is noble, our faith is firm, and our commitment to freedom is where we stand. Wherefore, I implore you, on behalf of my son and other innocent men, women, and children across these United States, to join Team Sutton and take a stand for true justice in America! Please sign our petition to show support for my son who has been in Louisiana State Prison for over 22 years. Thank you and may God Bless.