Marissa Alexander May Be Granted Bail As She Awaits New Trial
Marissa Alexander, the Jacksonville, Florida woman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot at her abusive husband will know this week whether or not she’s getting out of jail…at least temporarily.
Judge James Daniel set a hearing for Friday, November 8 at 2p.m. to decide whether or not Alexander will get bail. If she is granted bail, Alexander will be able to to wait for her new trial in the comfort of her own home instead of inside of a prison. The new trial date is set to start Monday, March 31.
Alexander, who was sentenced to 20 years in March 2012, has maintained her innocence ever since.
The appellate court ruled that Judge Daniel made a mistake in instructing the jury that Alexander would have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that she acted in self defense when she fired the gun, that she was being battered by Gray at the time.
The appellate court says instead that the burden should have been on the prosecution to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Alexander was not acting in self defense, meaning that she fired the gun when there was no threat against herself.
Alexander’s new attorney, Bruce Zimet said that in Marissa’s new trial, the “Stand Your Ground” law will play an important role in the reopened case. Alexander attempted to cite “Stand Your Ground” in the first case but Judge Elizabeth Senterfitt rejected it.
Alexander said the altercation between she and her husband, Rico Gray, started when he accused her of infidelity and asked whether the child she had given birth to a week earlier was his or not.
Alexander was originally granted bail in 2010 after the incident and was released. But bail was revoked when she went to go see Gray in February of 2011 after she had been ordered to stay away from him.
We’re hoping and praying that everything works out in Marissa’s favor this time around, that she is granted bail and her 20 year sentence is ultimately thrown out. Not only does Marissa’s case highlight the inconsistencies and flaws of the “Stand Your Ground” law, it also sends a message to domestic violence victims that if they try to defend themselves they run the risk of winding up in jail for decades while their abuser remains free.