Link: Florida Judge denies ‘Stand Your Ground’ retrial to female black defendant
31-year-old Marissa Alexander was cornered by her abusive husband when she fired a warning shot into the ceiling of their home, using a gun she was licensed to carry. The August, 2010 incident led to the Jacksonville, Florida resident’s conviction of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to newspaper The Florida Times-Union.
Her defense attorney, Kevin Cobbin has filed numerous motions for a retrial on grounds that her case is within the bounds of instances covered under the controversial “Stand Your Ground” law, but Florida Circuit Court Judge James Daniel on Thursday denied them all. Critics of the judge’s ruling, including the local NAACP, charge that Alexander’s race has been a factor in her sentencing and denial of a retrial.
Alexander claims she was acting in self-defense, that her husband, Rico Gray, attacked her when he found messages to her ex-husband on her cell phone. Gray has said in testimony that he had previously warned Alexander that he would kill her if he ever found out that she had been unfaithful. In her panic, she ran to the garage, hoping to escape. Once there, she found that she did not have her keys and that the garage door was broken.
“I knew I had to protect myself,” she told CNN in an interview from behind bars, “I believe when he threatened to kill me, that’s what he was absolutely going to do.”
Feeling that there was no other route of escape, Alexander armed herself and re-entered the house. Gray confronted her, threatening to kill her once again. The mother of three turned her face away and fired a warning shot into the ceiling in hopes that Gray would back down, which he did, taking his children from a previous relationship and fleeing the house.
No one was hurt, but now Alexander is facing a mandatory 20-year sentence with no chance of parole. She turned down earlier plea deals that would have offered her three years in jail, maintaining that she only fired the gun in self-defense.
Defense attorney Cobbin has cited Gray’s previous arrests for domestic violence and insists that his client’s actions were legal under “Stand Your Ground.” Both Circuit Court Judge Daniel and Circuit Judge Elizabeth Senterfitt, however, have ruled against Alexander.
Jacksonville NAACP head Isaiah Rumlin told the Times-Union that the evidence speaks to a miscarriage of justice, “After looking into it and studying the case, this is a clear case of Stand Your Ground as it relates to what she had to do on the date that she did it.”
The group sent a letter to Judge Daniel asking him to postpone his ruling and suggesting that Alexander’s race, gender and economic status were factors in the court’s handling of the case.
Daniel was unmoved. “Maybe I would be agreeing to a new Stand Your Ground motion, which highlights some of the difficulties we are struggling with procedurally implementing this new law,”he wrote, “but ultimately the motion is denied.” In his opinion, Alexander’s decision to re-enter the house was “inconsistent with a person in genuine fear of his or her life.”
“Stand Your Ground” was invoked by one of the defense teams that have represented George Zimmerman, Jr., the volunteer neighborhood watch captain who shot unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in the chest, killing him, earlier this year.
The blog Wonkette reacted to Judge Daniel’s ruling by saying, “In Florida, as it turns out, being in ‘genuine fear of your life’ means that you’re white and your attacker is black, so clearly that was her first mistake. Also, if you really want to Stand Your Ground you have to call the police only to ignore their instructions anyway, so there’s that. And crucially, it doesn’t say anywhere if her husband was wearing a hoodie when he was threatening to beat her up, which we hear is a relevant aspect of whether or not black men are actually scary.”
Marissa Alexander’s sentencing is scheduled for May 11.
are we surprised
we are not
- blkfreedom reblogged this from creativeindulgences
- no-fandom-url reblogged this from drmcawesome
- rawritskendrick reblogged this from black-culture
- 5evamore reblogged this from mustangscullaaay
- mustangscullaaay reblogged this from renleighthegirlking and added:
- xmasandribena reblogged this from genderbitch
- sinnerstouch reblogged this from whitedenial-ontrial
- christmasorgasms reblogged this from viviandemilo
- kissesandchamomile likes this
- dreadfulnotdelicate reblogged this from genderbitch
- icecoldangie reblogged this from so-treu
- nominus-expers reblogged this from viviandemilo and added:
- nominus-expers likes this
- hwaaa likes this
- mysyncope reblogged this from renleighthegirlking
- weatherall likes this
- bilt2tumble reblogged this from alexandraerin
- laughingacademy likes this
- asassypoet reblogged this from angimia
- asassypoet likes this
- ausetkmt reblogged this from 18-15n-77-30w
- thebigblackwerewolfe likes this
- thebigblackwerewolfe reblogged this from witchsistah
- good48 likes this
- misandryspice reblogged this from so-treu and added:
- pixeeisnotyourpersonaljesus reblogged this from brashblacknonbeliever
- sayaaria reblogged this from alexandraerin
- credulous-atbest reblogged this from brashblacknonbeliever
- presidentofsadgirlsclub likes this
- queensasha24 reblogged this from freedominwickedness and added:
- ibloodbenddicks reblogged this from mariavontraphouse
- thewaronindifference reblogged this from renleighthegirlking
- commucunt reblogged this from genderbitch
- pschoultz likes this
- evbelluche reblogged this from freedominwickedness
- youlikemealready reblogged this from so-treu
- glutenfreehoochie reblogged this from witchsistah
- looksweet likes this
- racismschool likes this
- exceedinglytrans reblogged this from genderbitch
- sweetsweetsweetdivinething reblogged this from alexandraerin
- sassyfeminist likes this
- theawesomesauce93 reblogged this from witchsistah and added:
- viviandemilo reblogged this from mariavontraphouse and added:
- thepasswordisiloveyou reblogged this from genderbitch
- disabledbyculture likes this
- newjerseyhippie reblogged this from smallrevolutionary
- dontbearuiner reblogged this from brashblacknonbeliever and added:
- moremaggiemayhem reblogged this from brashblacknonbeliever