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Hsieh reports: "Florida State Attorney Angela Corey will seek to triple Marissa Alexander's original prison sentence from twenty to sixty years, effectively a life sentence for the 33-year-old woman, when her case is retried this July, The Florida Times-Union reports."

Marissa Alexander walks out of the Duval County Courthouse with her lawyers. (photo: Bob Mack/The Florida Times-Union)
Marissa Alexander walks out of the Duval County Courthouse with her lawyers. (photo: Bob Mack/The Florida Times-Union)

Marissa Alexander Now Faces 60 Years in Prison for Firing a Warning Shot in Self Defense

By Steven Hsieh, The Nation

04 March 14


lorida State Attorney Angela Corey will seek to triple Marissa Alexander's original prison sentence from twenty to sixty years, effectively a life sentence for the 33-year-old woman, when her case is retried this July, The Florida Times-Union reports.

Alexander was convicted on three charges of aggravated assault in 2012 for firing warning shots in the direction of Rico Gray, her estranged husband, and his two children. No one was hurt. Alexander's attorneys argued that she had the right to self-defense after Gray physically assaulted and threatned to kill her the day of the shooting. In a deposition, Gray confessed to a history of abusing women, including Alexander.

In September of 2013 a District Appeals court threw out the conviction on grounds that Circuit Judge James Daniel erroneously placed the burden on Alexander to prove she acted in self-defense, when she only had to meet a "reasonable doubt concerning self-defense."

Judge Daniel originally slapped Alexander with three twenty-year prison sentences, but ordered that they be served concurrently. If Alexander is convicted a second time in July, State Attorney Angela Corey will seek consecutive sentences, adding up to sixty years in prison.

Florida's 10-20-Life law imposes a mandatory minimum of twenty years in prison for anyone who fires a gun while committing a felony. Angela Corey's prosecution team says it is following a court ruling that multiple convictions for related charges under 10-20-Life should carry consecutive sentences.

The advocacy group Free Marissa Now released a statement calling Corey's move a "stunning abuse of power." Members of the group say Corey is pressing for a longer sentence to thwart attention from accusations of prosecutorial misconduct, as well as recent failures in high-profile trials. Corey failed to secure murder convictions for George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn, two men who fatally shot black teenagers.

"Remember that when Marissa Alexander fired her warning shot to save her own life, she caused no injuries. Now she's facing the very real possibility of spending the rest of her life in prison for that act of self-defense," said advocate Sumayya Fire in the statement. "That should send a chill down the back of every person in this country who believes that women who are attacked have the right to defend themselves." your social media marketing partner


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+54 # babaregi 2014-03-04 15:51
Angela has got to go or African-America ns will never see justice in Florida.
+58 # Sangze 2014-03-04 17:56
We all know the truth here. Florida is a slave state devoted to serving bigoted retired white people. It's that simple.
+47 # shraeve 2014-03-05 00:20
They are obviously trying to intimidate her into copping a plea. That causes me to think their case is not very strong.
+75 # Billy Bob 2014-03-05 01:06
There seems to be no pattern here. In one case, using a gun where one isn't needed automatically makes one a hero, and perpetually innocent of any wrongdoing, if for no other reason that by virtue of the fact that you were a gun toting maniac, and gun toting maniacs need to be protected.

In another case, using a gun for actual self-defense, lands the user in jail for a very long time...


wait a minute...

It turns out there IS a pattern here.

Apparently, white people should have guns and black people shouldn't.

Can expectations for receiving "justice" be "separate but equal"?
+31 # beeyl 2014-03-05 12:33
Exactly. Florida's Stand Your Ground law is a joke, a moving target that can be interpreted or discarded in whatever way fits the prejudices of the judge and jury.
Taken on its face, "stand your ground" is more descriptive of Trayvon Martin's behavior than by his stalker's, and it's perfectly germane regarding Marissa Alexander's self-defense against a serial abuser.
But in the mind of racists, it's justification to lay blame on the black person, who is an ever looming threat against the privileged ground that white folk have occupied for so long.
+10 # Billy Bob 2014-03-05 12:44
Well said.
+65 # AUCHMANNOCH 2014-03-05 02:06
Zimmerman gets off Scot free for killing a black boy and Alexander faces 60 years in prison for firing a warning shot in defence of her life. It doesn't make one little effing bit of sense!
+65 # E-Mon 2014-03-05 02:20
This is just flat out wrong! Anybody with even half a degree more intelligence than a rock can see that. She fired a gun. NOBODY was injured. 60 years!!!??? What happened to Florida's "stand your ground" law made national news by George Z.? The judge should get 60 years..... Or locked up in an insane asylum. That's just psychopathic cruelty.
+23 # Kootenay Coyote 2014-03-05 09:35
i.e., Stand Your Ground is evidently only for white folks, eh? So much for ‘post-Racial’ America. &, just aside regarding the Corey prosecution, what other offense was Alexander is supposed to have been committing while she shot?
+26 # bmiluski 2014-03-05 10:30
Actually stand your ground law is only for men. After all Florida is a red state and women in red states have to know their place. The "little woman" can't be going around protecting herself. She needs a man to do that.
+25 # skipb48 2014-03-05 12:25
I guess it just goes to show that not all the nuts live in Arizona, some of them are prosecutors in Florida.
+22 # Billy Bob 2014-03-05 12:45
You left out Texas. Texas is like Aryanzona + Florida.
+5 # Glen 2014-03-05 16:03
Stand your ground states. Can't blame just Florida or Texas and there have been many murders thanks to this bullshit:

New Hampshire
North Carolina
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia
- See more at:
+4 # Billy Bob 2014-03-05 19:30
All true.

Actually, I wasn't just referring to this stupid law. I was referring to the states with the most ubiquitous corruption.

Personally, I'd still pit Texas in a competition with any other state for general corruption on every level. When I lived there, it seemed "normal" that no one could trust their own bank, their own auto mechanic, their own doctor's office, or the local electric company. I don't mean they didn't trust them because of gross incompetence (of which there was also a surpluss), but because they believed they were corrupt to the core.

In Texas, padding a bill is an art form. Where I lived in Texas, most of the people I encountered just assumed that's the way it is everywhere.

It was also the place where I met the most personally miserable people I've ever seen in my life.
0 # Glen 2014-03-06 09:00
Ah yes. Corruption. Man, too many states do have a history of serious corruption, mafia action, voting fraud, you name it. Texas does have some great people, as my friends are, but they have little say in state government, and often, local government. They did suffer under the savings and loan mess, which was literally swept under the rug of the attack on Iraq at that time.

Consider the families who rule certain states, and their background. Texas is no exception and is a territory with its own style and oddities, shall we say. Same as Louisiana. At least Louisiana has Mardi Gras to blow it off occasionally. All you describe in Texas is true in LA.

You are right about Texas, but they are not alone.
-3 # Working Class 2014-03-05 13:49
As much as I hate the stand your ground law and as much as I think people of color are treated differently by the "justice system", I am going to say something unpopular here. I don't believe stand your ground applies in Alexander's case if, and its a big if, press reports of the facts are true. According to press reports after being threaten Alexander walked out of the house (not her house by the way) and proceeded to a car. Then realizing she didn't have keys she retrieved a gun from the garage and re-entered the house. It was there that she fired the warning shot. I think the proposed sentence is way over the top - but if she was really afraid for her safety she had plenty of opportunity to leave the area, even if it meant walking. it was not her house - she did not live there. Sorry it looks like she went back into the house to make a point to the scumbag that had been abusing her. In any event the sentence is absurd and the DA should be recalled from office.
+14 # Glen 2014-03-05 15:56
The initial reports on this case were posted to explain the injustice of stand your ground, in many states, and how it is not a policy of fairness.

Ms. Alexander had been abused by her man and had an encounter with him prior to this gun incident. She fled to the garage, no keys, so got the gun to re-enter the house to get the keys. The man and her son were leaving through the back door. He saw her and charged her. That is when she fired the shot through the ceiling as a warning.

So now, things have changed. Nevertheless, she did NOT shoot him. She fired off a warning shot, and it does not matter whether it was her house or not. Other MEN have murdered others without punishment. So why her?
+4 # Art947 2014-03-05 18:37
When is Angela Corey going to get the "justice" that she deserves?
+10 # Pikewich 2014-03-06 01:05
Come on!

We all know that the "Stand Your Ground" laws are for white people only.
+4 # maryf 2014-03-07 00:19
White MEN only. They've got Ms. Alexander on both counts - racist and sexist.

What I still don't get, the insanity of the whole thing aside, is, where does this DA justify demanding consecutive sentences in this case? What felony was committed that permits this? The intent was to enhance the sentences of people who, say, used a firearm in the course of robbing someone.

This is a perfect example of the browbeating purpose of prosecutorial discretion over deciding upon the charges to bring. Of COURSE they want Ms. Alexander to cop a plea - she had the gall to win her appeal. God, prosecutors hate to lose.

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