While the world is still stuck on stories about Trayvon Martin, Marissa Alexander, a 31 year old Mother from Florida was recently sentenced to 20 years in Prison.
Why is this news? Because this woman simply fired warning shots are her abusive husband. Her husband had a track record for abuse, including abuse towards Marissa Alexander herself. She received this sentence due to the very strange Florida law called "Stand Your Ground Law," the same law that could allow George Zimmer to walk free.'
The entire case seems to be based on the fact that the shot was fired "towards" her abusive husband and "near" a bedroom where his children were, and they "could have" been injured. The problem is, the gun was not pointed towards any of them and not one person was harmed from this warning shot.
20 years in prison, all because this woman, who had just given birth 9 days prior to this incident, fired a warning shot "towards" her husband? That should be embarrassing to any lawmaker, judge and anyone who sat on that jury panel.
What happens if 2 people go hunting and someone fires "towards" an area where another person is? Couldn't they "have possibly been injured" as well? This just sounds absolutely ridiculous to me that a mother, who had just given birth, was standing up for herself, warning her abusive husband and the result is that a warning shot gets her 20 years in jail.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that it's OK to shoot a gun in a house with kids around, but it's pretty clear that this was done out of fear, during a fight with her husband who was clearly an abusive man.
From the HuffingtonPost article:
On Aug. 1, 2010, a fight between Alexander and her husband, Rico Gray, 36, left her cornered in the couple's home. She fled into the garage to escape but was trapped behind a jammed door, she stated in court documents. She said she grabbed the gun she kept in the garage, returned to the house and, when Gray threatened to kill her, fired a single shot to ward him off.
Alexander's biggest problem here, in my opinion, is that she represented herself. State Attorney Angela Corey had actually offered Alexander a 3 year sentance in a plea bargain, but Marissa Alexander felt that she had done nothing wrong, so she ended up rejecting the plea. In her defense, I would have felt the same way. Nothing adds up here, so I couldn't imagine accepting it and admitting guilt to something that should easily be proven as self defense.
Note: Angela Corey is also the lead prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin case.
The law that Alexander was punished by would sound great in theory, if it was used against true criminals. Those who terrorize, murder, rob, etc. -- these are the types of crimes that should be punishable, not self protection for a woman that was simply trying to ensure that she wasn't, once again, choked, punched or beaten by her husband.
The Florida Justice System is broke. Things need to be corrected and Marissa Alexander has become the victim to her abusive husband, once again.