As we continue to move further into the preposterous I am shocked and saddened at the judicial system in Florida. Now, I know these unfair situations do not only occur in Florida but it does hold the distinction of two of the most outrageous legal events – that we know of – in modern times. African Americans all to well, and have always decried the justice system, that has been blatantly unfair to us.
If ever the “Stand Your Ground” law in Florida had a chance of being applied fairly, this case shows that it has gone out the window as of last Friday. A court sentenced a black woman; Marissa Alexander a 31-year-old mother of three to 20 years for firing a warning shot at her abusive husband. I thought the law was supposed to have been passed for a persons to protect themselves, if they feared that their life was in danger. That’s what was represented on behalf of George Zimmerman.
In light of the aftermath of the long-delayed arrest of Trayvon Martin’s assassin, it is incomprehensible that Alexander, who neither killed nor injured anyone, has been convicted of aggravated assault with a firearm and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Let me just remind you that just about a month ago the system did not want to arrest the murder of a child who only had candy and a drink. Moreover, he posed no threat. Unbelievable!!!
Marissa’s husband, Rico Gray, a man with a documented history of abuse including an assault on her while she was pregnant, threatened to kill her nine days after the birth of their daughter. This time, Marissa wasn’t going to put up with another beating. When threatened, she fired a warning shot into the ceiling to let Gray know that the abuse was over and he’d better think twice before coming after her again. He then ran into the street and claimed that she had threatened to kill him and his boys. On his word alone, she was arrested.
State Attorney Angela Corey, the same prosecutor who is prosecuting the Trayvon Martin case, offered a three-year sentence plea bargain but Alexander refused on the grounds that she had done nothing wrong. Alexander tried to invoke Florida’s Stand Your Ground law but the judge refused.
Even though Gray recanted and even though Alexander’s 11-year-old daughter took the stand and made a plea on her mother’s behalf, the judge said that he had no choice but to sentence Alexander for at least 20 years.
This verdict poses serious questions about an already questionable law that is applied unevenly. Jacksonville Congresswoman Corrine Brown has stated that Alexander’s case is a product of “institutionalized racism” and that she had been unable to locate a Stand Your Ground case where a black person is the beneficiary of the law. In the meantime, Marissa Alexander faces a long time in prison with little hope of getting out.
There is an online petition to Florida Governor Rick Scott to grant a pardon to Marissa Alexander. You can sign it here: Pardon Marissa Alexander – show your support and sign the petition!
I want to thank author Ann Werner where much of this article was gleaned. I hope you don’t mind Ann but I was compelled to share and show my support. Thank you and that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…