It looks like Marissa Alexander, the woman who was sentenced to 20 years after firing a warning will have a chance to get the justice that she was initially denied.
The Associated Press is reporting that a Florida appeals court ordered a new trial for Alexander. The 1st District Court of Appeal ruled that the judge did not properly instruct the jury handling Marissa’s case. But the appeals court also said that the judge was right in blocking Alexander from using the “Stand Your Ground” law to rationalize her actions.
Which further highlights flaws in this law. If an abusive husband, who already had a restraining order placed against him was in her house threatening her, was not the time to defend yourself, then when is it?
If there was anything good that came from the acquittal of George Zimmerman, it was the fact that it sparked discussion about “Stand Your Ground” and the cases that can and cannot use “Stand Your Ground” as a defense. Even though Zimmerman’s attorneys have said time and time again that this was not a part of their defense, Zimmerman himself was well aware of the law and it prompted discussion about its use and fairness. This is how many of us learned about Marissa Alexander’s case and the outcome of her first trial.
We’ve reported, on several occasions about the unjust incarceration of the Florida mother of three. Alexander was brought to trial and sentenced to 20 years after her then husband Rico Gray physically assaulted her on August 1, 2010, a week after she’d given birth to her youngest daughter. She testified that she escaped to the garage attempting to leave the house but the garage door was not working. She found a gun, which she had a permit for, and went back into the house. Gray confronted her again in the kitchen, charging at her “in a rage.” She fired the gun in the air and was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
And while Zimmerman killed a child and walked away free, Alexander, who had never been arrested before, was incarcerated and has already spent over a year in prison.
Hopefully now that the law has come under attack and we’ve seen the way it doesn’t actually protect anyone, the outcome of her second trial will be different.