In the midst of George Zimmerman's "not-guilty verdict" a woman in Florida has been sentenced to 20-years in prison after firing warning shots against her allegedly abusive husband. Here are the facts you need to know about Marissa Alexander and her case.
1. She Claims She Was Escaping a Brutal Beating From Her Husband
Alexander claims that her husband tried to strangle her after he saw she sent text messages to her ex-husband. She escaped and ran to the garage, intending to drive away. But, having forgot her keys, she picked up her gun and went back into the house. She said her husband threatened to kill her, so she fired one shot. "I believe when he threatened to kill me, that's what he was absolutely going to do," she said. "That's what he intended to do. Had I not discharged my weapon at that point, I would not be here."
2. She Tried to Use the "Stand Your Ground Law"
Alexander was recently denied a new trial after appealing to the judge to reconsider her case based on Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law. The law states that the victim of a crime does not have to attempt to run for safety and can immediately retaliate in self-defense.
Alexander's case has drawn support from domestic abuse advocates - and comparison to the case of neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who has claimed a "Stand Your Ground" defense in his fatal shooting of 17-year old Trayvon Martin.
3. The Judge Said He Had "No Choice" in the Sentence
Several people had to be escorted from the courtroom after breaking out singing and chanting about a perceived lack of justice in the case, but Daniel made a point to say that he had no choice under state law. Meanwhile Corrine Brown, the Florida Congress woman who confronted the State Attorney in the case stated "She was overcharged by the prosecutor. Period. She never should have been charged."
4. Alexander Had Never Been in Trouble With the Law Before
Alexander was convicted of attempted murder after she rejected a plea deal for a three-year prison sentence. She said she did not believe she did anything wrong.
5. There Are Pro-Alexander Websites Asking For Donations
A website called justiceformarissa.blogspot.com has already started asking for donations to support Alexander. It's hard to say whether this is a legitimate website, or a scam attempting to make money off of Alexanders' issues, so be careful.
Here's the copy of a letter that Alexander allegedly wrote, published on justiceformarissa.blogspot.com.
I want to thank each and every one of you for writing me, praying for me or even thinking of me in your heart and are continuing to do so. For the most part, I’m hanging in there, as well as one could in this environment. Prison is definitely NOT what’s happening. It’s dreadful here, but hey, it’s suppose to be, it is after all captivity. My good days out weigh my bad days only because God is my source of strength. Please know that you all inspire me thru your communication and please know that the prayers that you offer up on my behalf are being answered. I’m so very blessed to have some of the most extraordinary people and organizations who are committed to supporting and encouraging me in every way.
I will continue to believe in our justice system. I choose to do so because I have complete trust in God, and we are still a nation that has this fundamental belief embedded in our core, displayed in our courtrooms and written on our money, and more hopefully in our hearts.
Truly I couldn’t begin to express to you how much I appreciate your wonderful letters of encouragement. Please know that I do not take your time and kindness for granted. Your heart-felt concern I am most grateful for.
With all sincerity & respect,