Any person, with common sense…who isn’t racist can understand that there’s no rationale reason why Marissa Alexander was arrested and sentenced to twenty years in prison for firing a warning shot at her husband Rico Gray.
And according to Florida law, all of this was legal. It’s legal but it’s not just. And in an effort to address that, the state Senate passed a bill earlier this month that would grant immunity to people with clean criminal records who fire a warning shot or threaten to use deadly force in self defense. The law will also seal court records for those who are initially charged if those charges are later dropped.
Had this law been in effect during Marissa Alexander’s trial, she would have never had to serve jail time, though it’s unclear whether she was the impetus for the law.
Instead, the measure is being supported by the NRA and other gun groups. Since it has already been passed by the House as well, next it will go to Florida governor Rick Scott, who supports the 2nd Amendment and Florida’s self defense laws.
Florida senator Greg Evers says, “This is about self defense. It’s one more step forward for people to protect themselves.”
There were naysers however. Senator Arthenia Joyner, a democrat from Tampa, said, “A Pandora’s box is being opened again,” referencing Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. I have a great apprehension about what’s inside.”
Other democrats were satisfied with it, believing it would warrant a more fair application of “Stand Your Ground” and include cases like Alexander’s.
Under the new law as well people who are found innocent in these “warning shot”/ self defense cases will have their records sealed, making them unavailable to the public.
You can get more information about the new law here.
What do you think, is it a good idea? Do you think it will prevent more cases like Marissa’s or do you believe it will create more problems than it solves?