After 3 Years In Jail And 2 Years Of House Arrest, Marissa Alexander Is Finally Free
In August 2010, Marissa Alexander fired a warning shot at her estranged husband in his home in Jacksonville, Fla. According to Alexander, who had just recently given birth, he threatened her right before the shot was fired. That was the beginning of a legal battle that has finally come to an end. She is now a free woman. Completely.
Despite the fact that no one was injured during the incident, and the fact that her estranged husband admitted to past physical abuse, two years after firing that shot, Alexander was prosecuted for aggravated assault with a lethal weapon. She was hit with a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years under Florida’s “10-20-Life” law for gun crimes. This happened despite attempts to defend her actions under Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground Law.
A new trial was ordered in 2013 and Alexander was released on bail but required to stay under house arrest. She was released after it was found by an appeals court judge that the burden of proof was improperly put on the defense instead of the prosecution in her case. In 2015, the mother took a plea deal that capped her sentence at the three years she had already served. She pleaded guilty to the three counts of aggravated assault she was hit with for that warning shot and agreed to do two years of house arrest while wearing an ankle monitor. She has completed that house arrest and all forms of state confinement and can now move on with her life.
“Today, after 3 years behind bars and 2 years of house detention, Marissa Alexander was finally released from state confinement. Marissa Alexander has been punished for over 5 years for defending her life from a domestic violence attack threatening her life nine days after she gave birth. The Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign is thrilled that we have finally made it to the day that we can say Marissa Alexander has her freedom.”
Through the page, Alexander and her family released a statement about moving forward:
“We are grateful to God that this chapter of Marissa’s life will come to a close on January 27, 2017. We are sincerely thankful and appreciative to all who rallied, supported and prayed for Marissa’s release. As she enters a new chapter, with endless possibilities, we ask that you will continue to support Marissa through her non-profit organization that was established to end domestic violence and injustice in the criminal justice system, The Marissa Alexander Justice Project. Without you, today would not be possible. Thank you again and again.”
Images via Free Marissa Now and AP