In Justifiable Homicide Cases, Race Disparity Extends To Women, Too

It’s interesting that Angela Corey has stated that people don’t know all the facts in Marissa Alexander’s case. Regardless, the sentencing is outrageous. IMHO, Corey is planning to seek three sentences for Alexander to form a basis for requesting the same for Michael Dunn’s three 2nd degree attempted murder convictions. The difference however, as I see it, is that while Dunn was attempting to kill, he did in fact actually kill Jordan Davis in the process. As we watch this play out in Florida, it is actually impugning America’s justice system.

The Fifth Column

Marissa Alexander Marissa Alexander | CREDIT: ASSOCIATED PRESS

Clearly, the process needs to be re-examined…

Think Progress

Past studies have found that the notorious Stand Your Ground laws that authorize deadly force in self-defense exacerbate racial disparities. Among all cases, the Urban Institute has found that white-on-black homicides are 354 percent more likely to be found justified than white-on-white homicides in states with Stand Your Ground laws.

As Marissa Alexander is facing 60 years in prison in a case in which she unsuccessfully invoked the defense for firing a warning shot during a dispute with her abusive boyfriend, MSNBC looked at racial disparities among women, albeit those who, unlike Alexander, purportedly killed a man in self-defense. While white women with black victims were found justified 13.5 percent of the time, blacks who kill whites are found justified just 2.9 percent of the time, and even whites who kill whites are found justified…

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Posted on 03/21/2014, in Trials & Cases and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Two sides to a story

    No surprise that females are demonized in such cases – I’m certain that white females probably are as well. Women of all races have had to fight ferociously for their civil rights and white females have more in common with people of other races in that regard than with their white male peers. I’ve always found white females to be far more empathetic toward black civil rights issues than their white male counterparts.

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    • Two sides,

      Women of all races have had to fight ferociously for their civil rights and white females have more in common with people of other races in that regard than with their white male peers.

      I agree. There is a pattern of discrimination among mankind. During America’s slavery, it was discrimination against women. That discrimination grew at some time or another to everyone in America, whether based race, national origin, etc.

      One thing I realized during the women’s lib movement back in the 70’s is that the majority of women have two things in common that we can all relate too and at times, that is what brings us together and connects interests in equality. I call it the M&M — menstruation and menopause.

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  2. towerflower

    I don’t see the same situation in the Dunn case and Alexander’s case. In Dunn’s he fired multiple shots in which any one of the teens in the car could’ve been killed, Jordan aside. In Alexander’s case there was only one shot and 3 people standing together. I think it is an overreach to charge her as if she was firing multiple shots.

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    • towerflower,

      In Alexander’s case there was only one shot and 3 people standing together. I think it is an overreach to charge her as if she was firing multiple shots.

      Excellent point! Her attorney filed a motion for an immunity hearing. If that’s granted, and immunity granted, Marissa can put this behind her. If not and she is re-tried, I hope her attorney argues your logic.

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      • towerflower

        I’m wondering if that will be successful, she lost an immunity hearing before and the appellate court upheld that part. Not too knowledgeable about the law, so how do you get around the appellate court ruling?

        I’ve said it before, I doubt she’ll ever win an immunity hearing, she bypassed a couple of doors to the outside, went into a garage (a 3rd exit) and retrieved a gun and returned inside to confront her husband. SYG doesn’t give immunity to a person who retrieves a firearm and RETURNS to the scene.

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  3. The 20 year sentence wasn’t just and a 60 year sentence would be a travesty.

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  4. Why is Angela Corey so interested in seeking a 60 year sentence for a woman who fired a warning shot?

    She needs to concentrate on being successful in prosecuting killers like GZ and Dunn.

    Something is amiss in Florida and I DON’T like it!

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    • Thanks for re-blogging this important post, Xena! 🙂

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    • towerflower

      Only Marissa claims it was a warning shot. The shot was at head level to her husband, only after passing through the wall did it change path and then go into a ceiling. It’s hard to prove a warning shot when it’s aimed at the person.

      But it’s the 10-20-Life law that needs to be changed here in Florida, it is this law that gets those convicted of a felony involving a gun such long sentences. But there was a proposal that would allow for a warning shot and the person would not be charged, I don’t know the status of that change.

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      • towerflower,
        In the motion that Marissa’s attorney filed, he alleges that the immunity hearing was brought under the wrong statute. I read it but it didn’t save it.

        His argument is that according to the proper statue, it does not require that Marissa retreat from her own house. His argument has merit.

        More and more, it appears that even Florida attorneys don’t have a good handle on Florida’s self-defense laws.

        Marissa claims SYG and is prosecuted without SYG jury instructions that she had no duty to retreat.

        Zimmerman claims SYG but O’Mara claims it was general self-defense, but the jury gets SYG instructions absent the initial aggressor clause.

        Dunn claims self-defense but his jury is given SYG instructions.

        Florida prosecutors and defense attorneys need to get on the same page. The law and jury instructions should not be parsed.

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        • True, the whole purpose of SYG was that a person did not have to retreat from a threat. But here she did, she went into the garage and retrieved a gun and returned to continue the confrontation. SYG does not protect for that.

          I agree that everyone needs to be on the same page and they need to develop a KISS law…..(keep it simple stupid), in which everyone can clearly understand it. I know she got a retrial due to improper jury instructions, was the lack of SYG language in her trail the improper jury instructions?

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          • towerflower,
            Here’s the link to the Appellate Court’s decision that remanded for a new trial.

            http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=4735782543108339389&q=%22Florida%22+%22Marissa+Alexander%22&hl=en&as_sdt=400006

            The court held:

            By including the phrase “beyond a reasonable doubt” when giving the instruction on the aggravated battery prong of the self-defense instruction, the trial court improperly transmuted the prosecution’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt into a burden on the appellant to prove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt, depriving her of a trial under the correct rule.

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          • roderick2012

            True, the whole purpose of SYG was that a person did not have to retreat from a threat.

            LOL.

            It depends on who the Judge is and how the jury instructions are written.

            James Dooley was actually retreating from the situation, but he was accosted by his victim and there were witnesses who testified to that fact, but he was convicted due to ‘initial aggressor’ clause in the self-defense law.

            OTOH Judge Nelson made sure that the ‘initial aggressor’ clause was left out of Piglet’s jury instructions.

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      • roderick2012

        Only Marissa claims it was a warning shot. The shot was at head level to her husband, only after passing through the wall did it change path and then go into a ceiling. It’s hard to prove a warning shot when it’s aimed at the person.

        We don’t know her intention, but we had the NEN tape of Piglet and that gave us some insight into what he was thinking before he murdered Trayvon.

        Also no one died in the Alexander case and that’s why it’s difficult for us laypeople to understand why Corey has such a hard-on for Alexander and she allowed her minions Bernie and Guy to throw Piglet’s case even though it trashed her reputation and gave credence to the allegation that she overcharges in cases.

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    • The worst part is Corey claiming her hands are tied and there is nothing else she can do. I guess the Fl. Judicial System is just a coin toss. It’s obvious evidence means nothing at all.

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      • towerflower

        Obviously she has some say or it would be just the original charges and not 2 additional ones tacked on. She also had enough say in the original trial to offer her a plea deal of 3 yrs. Only with the conviction does everyone’s hands become tied due to that 10-20-Life law.

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    • I read this. Even if you don’t support Marissa Alexander’s SYG claim,its obvious she’s the victim of a malicious prosecutor.

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  5. roderick2012

    Florida Moves To Restrict Media Access To Stand Your Ground Case Records

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/24/stand-your-ground-records_n_5007847.html

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