Marissa Alexander unsuccessfully tried to use Florida’s controversial “Stand-Your-Ground” law but a jury in March 2013 convicted her of aggravated assault after just 12 minutes of deliberation. The case, which was prosecuted by the same state attorney who handled the Trayvon Martin case, has gained the attention of civil rights leaders who say the African-American woman was persecuted because of her race.
Since the Trayvon Martin case and the appearance of an unfair and unbalanced justice system as it pertains to the “Stand-Your-Ground” law in Florida Marissa Alexander has hit the spotlight again.
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, Two children were with him when she fired a shot in his direction, and she was charged with three counts of aggravated assault.
Alexander also testified that 36-year-old Rico Gray her husband had physically abused her in a dispute on Aug. 1, 2010. She testified that she fled into a garage and got a gun, but was unable to leave the home because the garage door was stuck. She testified that she went back into the house, where Gray was with his two sons, and fired the shot.
Prosecutor and State Attorney Angela Corey argued that Stand Your Law did not apply because Alexander acted in anger. The judge agreed, saying that by returning to the house, she showed she was not in fear for her life. Gray her husband had been arrested twice on domestic battery allegations, but Alexander was charged with domestic battery four months after the shooting, Jacksonville.com reported.
State Attorney Corey, who also handled the Zimmerman case, said she personally met with Alexander and reviewed the evidence in the case. Reports state she offered Alexander a three-year sentence before trial, despite the case qualifying for a 20-year minimum mandatory sentence.
“Three years is not mercy and 20 years is not justice,” U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown told Corey in an animated confrontation in the hallway. “If there ever was a stand-your-ground case, it was this one.”
… She said she has been in contact with some of the best domestic violence attorneys in the country and will be involved in the appeals process.
“This is the beginning, not the end,” Brown said of Alexander case. “Clearly there is institutional racism.”
What do you think, is this institutional racism?
In California it is estimated 92% of all women in California prisons have been battered and abused in their lifetimes. Currently there are over 2000 battered women in America who are serving time for defending their lives against their batterers: As many as 90% of the women in jail today for killing men had been battered by those men.
The same study showed that among victims of abuse females were 75% of the total while victims of self defense were 96% male. The average prison sentence of men who kill their women partners is 2 to 6 years. Women who kill their partners are sentenced on average to 15 years, despite the fact that most women who kill do so in self-defense.
The statistics between white women and a woman of color the disparity of convictions and sentence time escalates tremendously; leaving one to wonder if this also includes institutional sexism and gender discrimination.
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