Saying he had no discretion under state law, a judge sentenced a Jacksonville, Florida, woman to 20 years in prison Friday for firing a warning shot in an effort to scare off her abusive husband.
In a state where this ALSO happened?
Justice is not blind. The idea that justice is blind is one of the great myths of our nation and one that only serves to continually disproportionally and unfairly punish people for whom the system was not created.
Here is more of Marissa Alexander’s story:
Alexander said she was attempting to flee her husband, Rico Gray, on August 1, 2010, when she picked up a handgun and fired a shot into a wall.
She said her husband had read cell phone text messages that she had written to her ex-husband, got angry and tried to strangle her.
She said she escaped and ran to the garage, intending to drive away. But, she said, she forgot her keys, so 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.”
Alexander’s attorneys tried to use the state law that allows people to use potentially deadly force anywhere they feel reasonably threatened with serious harm or death.
But a previous judge in the case rejected the request, saying Alexander’s decision to go back into the house was not consistent with someone in fear for her safety, according to the Florida Times Union newspaper.
A jury convicted Alexander in March and Judge James Daniel denied her request for a new trial in April.
Daniel handed down the sentence Friday after an emotional sentencing hearing during which Alexander’s parents, 11-year-old daughter and pastor spoke on her behalf.