It took the jury a mere 12 minutes to decide that Marissa Alexander was guilty for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after firing a warning shot at her abusive husband.
Alexander pleaded self-defense and sought protection under the controversial “Stand Your Ground” law but was denied and sentenced to 20 years in prison under the “10-20-Life” law. No one, including Alexander’s husband, suffered any injuries due to the warning shot, so why is she being subject to such a harsh sentencing?
However, justice has prevailed. Thursday, after spending five months in jail, the First District Court of Appeals ruled to grant Alexander a retrial. The jury was not properly instructed when handling Alexander’s case, according to the appeals court.
Alexander described feeling threatened by her husband, who grabbed her neck after questioning her fidelity. She escaped her husband by running into the garage to grab her gun and firing a warning shot. Alexander testified that she could not escape through the garage door because it was jammed.
This was not an act of aggravated assault but one of self-defense from an abusive man. Alexander was the victim desperately trying to protect herself from bodily harm, so why does the judicial system not protect her under any self-defense laws? No one was killed during her warning shot, and the gun was not even aimed at her husband.
Under Florida’s “10-20-Life” law, anyone who is convicted of a felony and was carrying, using, displaying or attempting to use a firearm will be sentenced to a minimum term of 10 years.
A “10-20-Life” sentence, which Alexander was convicted on, should not be applied to a woman being abused in her own home. It’s ludicrous. How else is she supposed to protect herself if she feels threatened in her house?
I believe Alexander deserves the right to claim self-defense due to the fact that her husband had a history of abusing her. She felt her life was endangered, and she had no other choice but to go get a gun to protect herself.
Honestly, she was wrongfully convicted for protecting herself from her attacker. I’m glad that the judicial system is taking another thorough look into her case. She deserves a retrial because she is a domestic violence victim.
In addition, the “10-20-Life” law needs to be revised because it has locked up and taken away many undeserving people’s lives from them.
No one should have 20 years of life taken away from him or her due to a situation of self-defense in which no one was injured. Hopefully, the jury sees this woman’s circumstance and allows common sense, compassion and justice to rule.