† Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, is the Editor of CI. Kay Whitlock, co-author of Queer (In)Justice, is contributing editor of CI. Criminal Injustice is published every Wednesday at 6 pm.
National Action for Marissa Alexander*
by nancy a heitzeg
As the national spotlight turned to the Trayvon Martin case and Florida’s troublesome Stand Your Ground legislation. the story of Marissa Alexander came to light as well. In 2012, Ms. Alexander was sentenced to twenty years in the Florida criminal correctional system for defending herself from her abusive estranged husband. She fired a single warning shot upwards into a wall to halt her abusive partner during a life-threatening beating.
Despite the fact that Ms. Alexander caused no injuries and has no previous criminal record, and despite the fact that Florida’s self-defense law includes the right to “Stand Your Ground,” she was arrested by Jacksonville police and charged with aggravated assault. After 12 minutes of deliberation, a jury of 6 people convicted Ms. Alexander of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon with no intent to harm. Her sentence was set at 20 years in part due to the state’s mandatory minimum sentencing laws.
In September, an appeals court ruled that she receive a new trial due to flawed jury instructions, and action is needed now to pressure Prosecutor Angela Corey ( yes that Angela Corey) to drop charges altogether. Here is what you can do:
- Sign the Petition to Drop the Case
- Contact the Prosecutor, Attorney General and Governor requesting charges be dropped:
Angela Corey, State Attorney
220 East Bay Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Office of Attorney General Pam Bondi
State of Florida
The Capitol PL-01
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050
Phone: 850-414-3300 or 850-414-3990
Office of Governor Rick Scott
State of Florida
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
Phone: 850-717-9337 or 850-488-7146
- Read write support #31formarissa
- Write to Marissa: Marissa Alexander #J46944, Lowell Annex, 11120 NW Gainesville, Rd, Ocala, FL34482
- Donate to Marissa’s legal defense fund