Marissa Alexander needed the supposed protection of Stand Your Ground if anyone ever has.
Marissa Alexander was a 31-year-old, 5-ft. 2-in. mother of three, her baby just 9 days old, living in Jacksonville, Fla., a “Stand your ground” state. Her 36-year-old husband Rico Gray was arrested in 2009 for attacking her and sending her to the hospital, after which she got a restraining order against him.
In a 2010 deposition, Gray said, “We was staying together and I pushed her back and she fell in the bathtub and hit her head and that’s the time I went to jail.” In the same deposition, he admits that this was not his first incident of domestic violence against women, saying, “I got five baby mamas and I put my hand on every last one of them except one. The way I was with women, they was like they had to walk on eggshells around me. You know they never knew what I was thinking or what I might do. Hit them, push them.” He also admits that he and Alexander had “four or five” episodes of domestic violence leading up the August 2010 incident that landed Alexander in prison facing a 20-year sentence.
Alexander retrieved a gun she had in her truck. She returned a fired a shot in the wall. Gray backed off and left. He ran to the police and Alexander was arrested. She claimed she was in fear of her life and cited Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law. The same law that George Zimmerman may use to justify why he shot and killed Trayvon Martin and the same prosecutor, Angela Corey would try to put Alexander away.
Facing 20 years in jail, Alexander was offered a three-year sentence instead, but turned it down and why not? She thought she had defended herself from a man whom had previously beaten her and admitted he liked thumping on woman. She had a permit to carry a firearm. Rico Gray was threatening to kill her or have her killed. She tried to leave the premises by going out through the garage, but couldn’t open the door, something Gray admitted in his deposition that he knew she couldn’t get out that way.
Alexander thought she would go free and why not? Since SYG became the law in Florida justifiable homicide from it had been cited as a defense in 93 cases involving 65 deaths and successfully most times.
Marissa Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in jail.
Marissa Alexander, whose case brought allegations that Florida’s Stand Your Ground law is being unfairly applied, was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday after being convicted of three counts of aggravated assault after firing a warning shot during a dispute with her husband.
The case sparked a confrontation between a congresswoman and the prosecutor after the sentencing in Jacksonville, Fla., WJXT-TV reported.
Alexander, 31, claimed she fired a shot from a handgun into the wall to protect herself during a confrontation with her husband, who she said had abused her, WJXT reported. Two children were with him when she fired a shot in his direction, and she was charged with three counts of aggravated assault.
Her attorneys claimed self-defense and cited the state’s Stand Your Ground law, which gives people some protection from prosecution for using potentially deadly force in cases in which they feel their life is threatened.
The law came under nationwide scrutiny during the Trayvon Martin case, when neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot an unarmed teen and authorities waited weeks before charging him.
But a jury agreed with prosecutors that the law didn’t apply because she left during the argument, got a gun and returned to confront him, WJXT reported.
Last week, State Attorney Angela Corey, who is also handling the Zimmerman case, said she personally met with Alexander and reviewed the evidence in the case, WJXT reported. She said she offered Alexander a three-year sentence before trial, despite the case qualifying for a 20-year minimum mandatory sentence.
This is what happens when a terrible law (Stand Your Ground) and an equally terrible practice (minimum-mandatory sentencing) catch up someone in a squeeze play. To the point if Florida is going to have this awful law, it either needs to be applied consistently or scrapped entirely.
Facing 20 years in jail, Alexander was offered a three-year sentence instead, but turned it down and why not? She thought she had defended herself from a man whom had previously beaten her and admitted he liked thumping on woman.
This is certainly not justice. No way is society a safer place with Marissa Alexander locked up until she’s 51 years old.
One can only hope Corey is as equally aggressive and successful in her prosecution of George Zimmerman who actually put a hole in a human being, not a wall, and killed Trayvon Martin.
- Abused Wife Marissa Alexander Faces 20 Year Sentence, “Stand Your Ground” Law Fails Her (hellobeautiful.com)
- Part I: Marissa Alexander Isn’t Really About Stand Your Ground (crimedime.com)
- PARDON Abused Mother Marissa Alexander for Standing Her Ground (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)
- Wife gets 20 years for warning shot (theage.com.au)