Woman Sentenced To 20 Years For Firing Warning Shot Against Abusive Husband

Woman Sentenced To 20 Years For Firing Warning Shot Against Abusive HusbandSaying 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.

‘Persecuted because of her race’

Marissa Alexander unsuccessfully tried to use Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law to derail the prosecution, but a jury in March convicted her of aggravated assault after just 12 minutes of deliberation. The case, which was prosecuted by the same state attorney who is handling the Trayvon Martin case, has gained the attention of civil rights leaders who say the African-American woman was persecuted because of her race.

State Attorney Angela Corey said she had offered Alexander a plea bargain that would have resulted in a three-year prison sentence, but Alexander chose to take the case to a jury trial, where a conviction would carry a mandatory sentence under a Florida law known as “10-20-life.”

‘Reasonably threatened’

The law mandates increased penalties for some felonies, including aggravated assault, in which a gun is carried or used. Corey said the case deserved to be prosecuted because Alexander fired in the direction of a room where two children were standing. 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 threatened to kill her, so she fired one shot.

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.

Do you agree with the 20-year jail sentence given to Marissa Alexander? Why or why not?

Source: CNN Wire Staff | CNN

Image: Political Blind Spot

Eyewitness Recounts Details Of Accident That Killed Cowboys Linebacker Jerry Brown

Eyewitness Recounts Details Of Accident That Killed Cowboys Linebacker Jerry BrownIn the wake of the report that the mother of late Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jerry Brown wants Josh Brent to ride with her and sit with the family during Brown’s funeral, chilling details of what allegedly occurred at the crime scene are beginning to emerge.

‘Had to be coerced’

Eyewitness Stacee McWilliams was on her way from celebrating her birthday when she came upon the crash scene. McWilliams tells the Dallas Morning News that Brent had to be coerced to attempt to rescue Brown from the burning vehicle.

“The person that was in the other vehicle stepped out of her car and she said ‘I’ve already called 9-1-1, they’re on the way’… But it took no time at all for this fire to really get engaged… I started to hear screams coming from inside the vehicle and it was a man’s voice… I turned and looked at the gentleman in the black pants (Brent), and I said ‘Is there a passenger? Is there somebody in the car?’. And he said ‘Yeah’. And I told him ‘Well, get him out of the car’.”

‘Eligible for forgiveness’

McWilliams returned to her vehicle to retrieve her phone and when she returned, Brent had pulled the passenger (Brown) from the fiery wreck.

Few would regard Brent as a hero. The bottom line is that he made the decision to drive after consuming alcohol, a decision that resulted in the death of his close friend and teammate, Jerry Brown, and the end to what was a promising football career for himself, which will now be replaced by a prison sentence of up to 20 years and a lifetime of regret over what he has done. Brent is eligible for forgiveness, though, and the Brown family is doing just that.

What do you think really happened in this fatal accident? Do you believe all the things that this eyewitness is saying?

Source: Yahoo Sports

Image: Bob 93.7 FM