Marissa Alexander’s Sentence Could Triple
You remember Marissa Alexander don’t you? She’s the Jacksonville, Florida woman who fired warning shots in the direction of her estranged husband. She’s also the woman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison because of her actions.
Alexander, 33 was previously convicted in 2012 for three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 20 years in prison by Circuit Judge James Daniel under the state’s 10-20-life law. Daniel actually imposed three separate 20-year sentences on Alexander but ordered that they be served concurrently, which meant Alexander could get out in 20 years.
The 1st District Court of Appeals in Tallahassee threw out her conviction, stating that Daniels forced Alexander to prove that she was battered by her estranged husband rather than acting in self-defense.
The Appeals courts in sending the case back, said that under the 10-20 life law, three separate sentences must be served consecutively and cannot be imposed concurrently. Now, the Office of State Attorney Angela Corey is seeking to sentence Alexander for 60 years. Her trial is scheduled for July 28.
Alexander’s case drew national attention because of the Stand Your Ground law in Florida. Unlike the case of Trayvon Martin whereby George Zimmerman was acquitted of killing Martin, Alexander didn’t kill anyone. She is facing life in prison for a warning shot that she says was in self-defense. Her case has brought about anger as well as confusion in the state of Florida and everywhere for that matter.
Alexander’s case of the “warning-shot” has sparked a bill in Florida that will be brought up in the legislative session on Tuesday [March 4, 2014]. Under this bill, there will not be a 20-year prison sentence for warning shots.
This case will definitely spark controversy. If Alexander gets 20 years or 60 years, no one wins. Alexander’s attorney is seeking an acquittal and in the process will be arguing against the 10-20 life law.
Dr. Sinclair Grey III is a speaker, activist, published author of five books.
—Naturally Moi, March 3, 2014