In an amazing turn of events, Marissa Alexander, the African-American woman who is in prison on a 20 year sentence for shooting at the wall to scare away her abusive husband, will finally receive a new trial. Alexander, has consistently invoked “Stand Your Ground” and said that she only fired bullets at the wall and ceiling because she was afraid of her husband beating her.
Her prosecutor was the same in the George Zimmerman trial… you know, the one who never wanted to arrest Zimmerman for the shooting death of the unarmed 17 year old Trayvon Martin. Unlike the Zimmerman trial, it only took 12 minutes for the jury to convict Alexander.
The presiding Judge James H. Daniel, wrote of the Alexander retrial that “We reject her contention that the trial court erred in declining to grant her immunity from prosecution under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, but we remand for a new trial because the jury instructions on self-defense were erroneous.”
To add insult to injury, Alexander had given birth only a week before having to testify on her own behalf about the abuse she was enduring when she discharged her weapon.
Alexander explains that she had first tried locking herself in the bathroom, but her husband Rico Gray broke the door down, grabbed her by the throat and slammed her into the door. She ran but the only open route was the garage. When she could not get the door to open, she grabbed a firearm. But, you see, her husband as well was no stranger to guns. He wasn’t particularly intimidated by the brandished weapon. When Marissa returned with a firearm from the garage, Rico Gray was enraged, yelling “Bitch, I’ll kill you.”
Alexander fired the gun at the wall, citing that this was “the lesser of two evils” when the alternative was perhaps in fact being killed by the abusive spouse. This didn’t seem to move the jury, and it is indeed the jury selection – rather than the fact that she had the right to defend herself – that is affording Marissa a new trial.
The retrial that has now finally be granted to Alexander was due in no small part to the pressure we have put on the State through protests and social media circulation of stories like this. The prosecutor Angela Corey, even angrily told the Washington Post, “I think social media is going to be the destruction of this country.”