(Hat tip to Mindyme, our reporter on the ground in Florida)
In 2012, Marissa was convicted of three counts of aggravated assault. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Last year around this time, Marissa Alexander was released on bond and was home for Thanksgiving. Her conviction was overturned on appeal because of an error in jury instructions. Her new trial was scheduled to begin on December 1, 2014.
Since that time, Marissa’s lawyer has zealously fought for her. The Appellate Court ordered a new trial. She petitioned the court for, and was denied, another stand your ground immunity hearing.
We have all seen the headlines, “Fla. Mom gets 20 years for warning shot”. We have all heard some of the stories trying to tie this long sentence to race. What most don’t know is the history behind what happened. I’m not talking about what happened to Ms. Alexander but the history behind the sentencing. What most fail to realize is that it wasn’t the crime she was found guilty of, it wasn’t her race and it had nothing to do with a warning shot. It has everything to do with a law.
Since the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, the public has focused largely on Florida’s stand your ground (SYG) law. While many consider this to be an unjust and vague law, to me there is a more unjust law on the books and one that existed before Florida’s SYG law.
Back in the late 90’s there was a surge of violent felonies in Florida in which a gun was used. At the time, Florida had a mandatory sentence of 3 years when a gun was used in a violent felony. Jeb Bush, while running for governor, came up with and ran a campaign platform for the 10-20-Life law. When he was elected in 1999, the State Legislature passed Bush’s proposal and the law went into effect on July 1, 1999. In 2000 it was expanded to cover 16 and 17 year old’s who fire a gun and have prior criminal records. Read the rest of this entry
It happened in Tampa, Florida.
Sam Mobley, 70, has won awards and was recognized by and worked closely with the Tampa police to help rid the neighborhood of drug dealers. This week, Mobley was arrested, charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for firing two warning shots at a convicted drug dealer. Mobley says that he thought the man had a gun in his hand. The man was not hit.
“I shot low to the ground,” said Mobley. “I didn’t shoot to kill.”
Tampa police arrested Mobley because they say Mobley was not on his property when firing the warning shots. Read the rest of this entry
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.
Clearly, the process needs to be re-examined…
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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This is good news. Thanks for sharing it. Happy Thanksgiving, Marissa!
Marissa Alexander, a Florida mom who fired a warning shot at an abusive husband, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, only to be granted a new trial, is free on bond and home with family – in time for Thanksgiving and the holiday season.
After a bond hearing, Alexander – who has served almost three years of the sentence handed down in 2010, was released on three bonds – one for each of her charges for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon – totalling $200,000 – just before midnight. She is under house arrest.
State Attorney General Angela Corey released a statement earlier this month stating that her office “will continue to seek justice for our two child victims and their father who were endangered by the shot the defendant fired at them.”
Supporters had hoped that Corey would drop the case against the 33 year-old mother of three…
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Good news for Marissa Alexander.
On August 1, 2010, State Attorney Angela Corey filed aggravated assault charges against Alexander that carries a 20-year mandatory minimum sentence when a gun is involved. Marissa Alexander was convicted on three counts of aggravated assault after firing a warning shot at her ex-husband inside their home in August 2010. In a 12-page decision, on September 26, 2013, the First District Court of Appeal in Florida wrote that it rejected Alexander’s contention that the trial court erred in declining to grant her immunity from prosecution under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, but it found that “the jury instructions on self-defense were erroneous” and ordered a retrial. The decision reverses a May 2012 lower court decision that denied a retrial.
By comparison, The First District Court of Appeal entered a 2-page decision in Michael Gile’s case, affirming his conviction without comment, but reversed and remanded on an error of fines applied by the State.
While on active duty with the Unites States Air Force and stationed in Tampa, Florida, on February 6, 2010, Michael Giles, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, was invited by a friend to a party in Tallahassee, Florida. Shortly after arriving at their destination the group found themselves in a volatile atmosphere. The entire club of patrons was pushed outside by security and Michael was separated from his friends, who were the only two people he knew in the area. Witnesses on the scene stated there were between 20-40 people fighting, describing it as mayhem, dangerous, and even deadly. Read the rest of this entry
Florida is not the only State that has conceal carry of guns and stand your ground law, but this nation’s most recent experience in the injustice committed upon Trayvon Martin brings the spotlight upon the State of Florida. I would like to add the Trevor Dooley and Marissa Alexander cases to the reasons for why cruises boarding in Florida should be boycotted. Juries in the State of Florida have one stand your ground law for White defendants, and another stand your ground law for Black defendants.
We await to see if Michael Dunn, charged with the murder of unarmed 17-year old Jordan Davis, and also charged with attempted murder of others who were in the vehicle with Jordan, will be judged by the written law, or acquitted by racist jurors.
The Soul Train cruise is scheduled to leave Ft. Lauderdale in February 2013. Those disagreeing with any or all of the three aforementioned cases should boycott the Soul Train cruise and all other cruises leaving out of Florida, and encourage their friends and relatives to do the same. This will be a most difficult decision for those honoring what Soul Train stands for, but we need to make a powerful, economic statement.
Airlines flying into Florida, and cruise ships boarding in Florida, will feel the economic effect.
A current list of performers who have joined Stevie Wonder in boycotting Florida includes:
Mary Mary; Eddie Levert; Rod Stewart; Madonna; Usher; Pattie Labelle; Kanye West; Mary J; Rolling Stones; Justin Timberlake; R. Kelly; Rihanna; Alicia Keys; Joe; WillIAM; Keyshia Cole; Erykah Badu; Frankie Beverly; and Parliament. Let those of us who can, join their efforts beginning by boycotting cruises boarding in the State of Florida.