While America was debating about whether the fatal gunshot George Zimmerman fired to end the fight that he provoked, and was apparently on the losing end of, an abuse victim by the name of Marissa Alexander’s case came into the spotlight. Marissa Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot at her husband who admitted to being an abuser. The incident occurred nine days after Alexander had given birth to their child. The warning shot was fired in her own home after fighting with her husband who she said went into a jealous rage after reading her text messages. The shot did not hit him and no one else was harmed. Alexander states that she was in fear for her life when she fired the warning shot. During the case the judge rejected her request to legally defend herself under Florida’s stand your ground law. Her case is once again in the spotlight as the Florida Supreme Court reviews a warning shot case that could have an impact on Marissa Alexander’s case.
The legal waters start to become really murky when an individual is allowed to use the stand your ground defense when he can’t appropriately protect himself without a gun against a child armed with a bag of skittles, and an abused woman can not. Based on these and similar stand your ground cases it appears that the principle of equality under the law is only applicable when power, the right race, or the right gender is figured into the calculation.
Equation 1: Grown Man, Son of European American Ex-Magistrate Father, Fires a Deadly Shot + Dead Skittle Toting Child = Stand Your Ground Defense and freedom.
Equation 2: Abused, African American, New Mommy of Hospitalized Premature Baby, Fires Warning Shot + Injunctive Sanctioned Known Abuser Husband = Denial of Stand Your Ground Defense and 20 years behind bars.
Her case is back in court and the District Attorney is now asking for 60 years if she is convicted this time. Click here to follow her blog to stay updated on her case. Donations to her legal defense fund are also being accepted on her blog.
PO-Legal=politically motivated legal actions.