Finally! Marissa Alexander Released From Jail
After four years worth of legal battles and a case that brought national attention to Florida’s problematic Stand Your Ground laws, Marissa Alexander was released from jail on Tuesday afternoon.
She’ll be able to serve the rest of her sentence on house arrest.
Those present in the courtroom broke out into applause when Judge James Daniel announced that he was rejecting the prosecutor’s request for an additional two-year jail sentence and was releasing Alexander to house arrest, or community control.
When issuing his ruling he stated that his decision was “not based on any public opinion of any larger issue of public interest or social concern, but on the specific facts of the case.”
You may remember that at one point, Alexander faced up to 60 years behind bars for firing a warning shot near her abusive, estranged husband Rico Gray on August 1, 2010. Though Gray had abused Alexander on several occasions and threatened to kill her on that particular day, she was unable to convince the jury that she feared for her life.
Though no one was injured in the incident, during her first trial she was sentenced to 20 years in about 12 minutes by a jury. Later, when prosector Angela Corey, the same woman who was the prosecutor in George Zimmerman’s trial, became involved, she sought to sentence Alexander to 60 years.
In November, Alexander pled guilty to three counts of aggravated assault with a weapon in order to get credit for the time she’d already served since her case was first brought to trial. She was sentenced to three years and was ordered to serve 65 days in jail and then two additional years on house arrest.
For the next two years, Alexander must wear a GPS ankle monitor and will only be allowed to leave her home to go to work, job interviews, church, family medical and dental appointments and to visit her children’s schools. Any other locations will require a judge’s permission.
You may remember that Alexander was ordered to pay for her own monitoring device. And with cost being $105 per week, that’s nearly $11,000 for her two year sentence.
Supporters raised the money to help eliminate these fees and a group of pastors offered Alexander a job at one of their ministries if she wants it.
As she left the courthouse, Alexander delivered a statement to her supporters and the media. Here’s what she had to say.
Four and a half years have passed since the events of August 1, 2010, but today, after the sentencing posed by Judge Daniel, my family and I will be able to move forward with our lives. Although the journey has been long and there have been many difficult moments, I could not have arrived here and where I am today without the thoughts–the many thoughts and many prayers–of so many people who have voiced their support and encouragement. Words could never express my gratitude for those who have stood by me, including my children and family. I’m also grateful that Judge Daniel approached this case with such care and diligence.
I look forward to the full time challenge of getting my two teenagers through high school and into college, as well as preparing my four-year-old daughter for nursery school. My goal is to continue my education, beyond my master’s degree and to continue my professional career. In moving forward, I will continue to learn lessons from the events of the past but I will not live in the past. At the age of 34, life is too short and there is too much that I have to accomplish in the years ahead. It is my hope and prayer that everyone associated with this case will also be able to move forward with their lives.
You can watch Ms. Alexander address her supporters and the media in the video below.