By March 12, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

60 Years For A Warning Shot? Why We Still Have To Keep Fighting For Marissa Alexander

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It seems that the fight for justice for Marissa Alexander is still far from over. In spite of her release from prison, for the time being, prosecutors are now seeking a triple sentence for Alexander, who fired warning shots to the side of her abusive spouse.

Alexander, 33, was convicted back in 2012. Her three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon resulted in a lengthy sentence of 20 years — three counts served concurrently — even though no one was hurt. But later, an appeals court through out the conviction, explaining that Circuit Judge James Daniel was wrong to require Alexander to prove she acted in self-defense, rather than leaving the burden on the State to prove that she did not. 

“It’s unimaginable that a woman acting in self-defense, who injured no one, can be given what amounts to a life sentence,” spokeswoman Helen Gilbert of Free Marissa Now explained. “This must send chills down the spine of every woman and everyone who cares about women and every woman in an abusive relationship.”

Now, assistant State Attorney Richard Mantei attempted to explain to the Florida Times-Union that following up with a 60-year sentence is merely ‘following the law’.

“Absent a plea agreement, if convicted as charged, the law of the State of Florida fixes the sentence,” Mantei rationalized. “At this time, Ms. Alexander has rejected all efforts by the State to resolve the case short of trial.”

Attorney Bruce Zimet called such a prospect nothing short of a miscarriage of justice. Whatever happens next, it is obvious that those of us who support the rights of Marissa and all victims of abuse to defend themselves cannot back down. Keep spreading the word and keeping this conversation on the nation’s lips.

(Article by M.B. David)

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