Skip to comments.Familiarize Yourself With The Marissa Alexander Case Before The Media Misinforms You
Posted on 07/16/2013 12:58:32 PM PDT by servo1969
In the wake of the Zimmerman verdict, many media outlets have erroneously focused on Florida's Stand Your Ground law, which was never invoked by the defense. In fact, Zimmerman declined the opportunity to seek a Stand Your Ground hearing earlier this year. Reason explains:
The initial decision not to arrest Zimmerman, former Sanford, Florida, Police Chief Bill Lee said last week (as paraphrased by CNN), "had nothing to do with Florida's controversial 'Stand Your Ground' law" because "from an investigative standpoint, it was purely a matter of self-defense." And as The New York Times explained last month, "Florida's Stand Your Ground law...has not been invoked in this case." The only context in which "stand your ground" was mentioned during the trial was as part of the prosecution's attempt to undermine Zimmerman's credibility by arguing that he lied when he told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he had not heard of the law until after the shooting. During his rebuttal on Friday, prosecutor John Guy declared, "This case is not about standing your ground."
This discussion of Stand Your Ground has allowed to the media to revive the story of Marissa Alexander, a black woman from Jacksonville, Florida who "only fired a warning shot trying to protect herself from an abusive husband" and who unsuccessfully tried to invoke the law in her defense. They're attempting to show that the law does not protect blacks as it does whites, but the case has almost nothing in common with Zimmerman's and the reporting of the Alexander story has been wildly inaccurate. Take it away, Think Progress:
But just months after Trayvons death, Floridas notorious Stand Your Ground law did not spare Marissa Alexander, who fired a mere warning shot into the wall during a violent incident with her husband.
Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in prison last year, after a judge rejected her Stand Your Ground defense and a jury convicted her on three counts of aggravated assault.
Taken at face value, this would be an absolutely offensive sentencing. But, this account (and many more like them) is not what actually happened.
Alexander claims she felt her life was at risk, but she left the house and went into the garage, retrieved a handgun from her car and returned to the kitchen where her husband (Rico Gray) and his two children were located. Stand Your Ground does not require that you attempt to flee, but she already had. At this point, it no longer applied. She then fired the "mere warning shot", which in many accounts was aimed at the ceiling, but the court documents indicate "barely missed Gray's head". Here is the relevant part of the court document:
[Gray] moved to the living room where his children were. Subsequently, [Alexander] emerged from the master bedroom and went into the garage where her car was parked. [Alexander] testified she was trying to leave the residence but could not get the garage door to open. (The Court notes that despite [Alexander's] claim she was in fear for her life at that point and trying to get away from [Gray], she did not leave the house through the back or front doors which were unobstructed. Additionally, the garage door had worked previously and there was no evidence to support her claim.) [Alexander] then retrieved her firearm from the glove box of the vehicle. [Alexander] returned to the kitchen with the firearm in her hand and pointed it in the direction of all three victims. [Gray] put his hands in the air. [Alexander] shot at [Gray], barely missing his head. The bullet traveled through the kitchen wall and into the ceiling in the living room. The victims fled the residence and immediately called 911. [Alexander] stayed in the marital home and at no point called 911.
Well that's a whole different story, isn't it? It should also be noted that Alexander wasn't even living in the house at the time, as she and Gray had separated. Sean Davis over at Media Trackers has a much more detailed account of the case. I've been seeing the case start to gain more attention recently, so it's important to get the facts right before the media tries to turn it into another drummed up racial discrimination story. Definitely give it a read.
The real outrage here is Florida's 10-20-Life mandatory minimum law, which essentially gives prosecutors (like the detestable Angela Corey) power to act as both prosecutor and judge. As soon as Alexander discharged her weapon, it immediately became a 20 year minimum sentence since it was used in an aggravated assault. The judge's hands were tied. The law does not include a first time offender exemption and includes more absurdities like this:
The "10-20-Life" statutes exclude manslaughter from any minimum sentencing requirements, Assistant State Attorney Mark Caliel confirmed. That means if Alexander had actually killed her husband or one of his sons and been found guilty of manslaughter, she could have instead gotten as little as time served. Caliel said manslaughter should be added into the statutes.
Since Florida has tied firearms to minimum sentencing laws, the real reason Marissa Alexander will sit in a jail cell for the next 20 years is because of gun control legislation, whether the media wants to admit it or not.
Update: Melissa Harris-Perry butchers the story this weekend.
People have no ability to think logically.
'Stand Your Ground' does not allow you to go get your gun out of your car, come back and shoot at people because you're angry!
She went back to get a gun and had full malicious intent.
20 years ... out in five for ‘good behavior’ ... she’s getting a lesson in ‘results of attempted murder’.
Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but according to the: http://www.dc.state.fl.us/ActiveInmates/detail.asp?Bookmark=1&From=list&SessionID=736764247 she is OUT of custody by court order. Doesn’t that mean that she’s not in prison?
Marissa Alexander is the name of the woman whose case the racial agitators invoke to demonstrate inequality of justice between blacks and the 'white racist' Zimmerman.
Notice the agitation propagandists seem to conveniently afflicted with amnesia over the case of Long Island NY father John White whose sentence for manslaughter ended up being commuted by former NY governor David Paterson after White served five months in prison. Remember this when you hear "If Zimmerman was black, he'd be in prison now", and point out that the REAL reason John White was found guilty (before the governor of NY magically made him 'unguilty') was because the pistol that he used was 'unregistered' and he had no 'firearms permit' which is merely a peculiarity to New York. That was the evidence the prosecutor used to establish a 'depraved mind' in front of the jury: John White didn't have a permit. In short, White probably wouldn't have been convicted anywhere else that wasn't as anti-gun/anti-defense as New York.
The John White case doesn't fit their narrative even though White was convicted of manslaughter for killing a white teenager, yet they seem to now want to point to the case of Marissa Alexander as a victim of a racist justice system even though the real story behind the Alexander case was that she's a recklessly unstable crazy bitch who had malice aforethought when she started firing a gun in the direction of her own children after breaking into her ex-husband's home.
Lastly, who was the state's attorney in both the Zimmerman and Alexander cases? Angela Corey!
To me, this very sad case is one example of stupid gun laws. This was a case of assualt with a deadly weapon, no doubt. But simply because a gun was used (not a baseball bat, a knife, or a frying pan) the perp gets a mandatory 20 year sentence in a case in which no one even got a scratch.
I am by no means am defending this woman, but my opinion is laws that discriminate based on the deadly weapon of choice are stupid.
I do agree comparing this case to the GZ case is just plain stupid. The only thing these two cases have in common is race did not play a role in either one.
Exactly. This is a case that clearly demonstrates the stupidity of draconian gun laws, that is being used to attempt to discredit reasonable and logical self defense law.
How does she get time off a Mandatory Minimum sentence ?
I would posit that the reason that jurors are not allowed to know the sentences associated with various crimes is that they might interfere with the government's ability to impose cruel and unusual punishments for what the jury thinks are minor offenses.
There should be different sentences for violent acts which show differing levels of criminal intent, and firing a gun at someone generally shows a greater level of criminal intent than would throwing a mobile phone at the person, but a statute should not blindly infer a person's degree of criminal intent based upon the choice of weapon. Rather, I would suggest that it would be much more fair to have laws that would suggest to a jury that use of a more deadly weapon is generally indicative of a greater level of criminal intent, but that criminal intent needs to be examined separately for each particular crime. A jury, for example, should decide whether they believe that a shooter that didn't hit anyone was deliberately trying not to hit anyone, or simply had bad aim.