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

Zimmerman Trial Coming To An End

Zimmerman Trial Coming To An EndProsecutors in the George Zimmerman second degree murder trial have pushed hard on two points as they seek to make their case against him: that the injuries to Zimmerman on the night Trayvon Martin died were “insignificant” and that he had studied Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law in a college class in 2010.

‘Depraved mind’

To win conviction on second-degree murder, the prosecution has to show that the death was caused by a criminal act “demonstrating a depraved mind without regard for human life.”

Much was also made of the class Zimmerman took class at Seminole State College taught by Professor Alexis Carter.  The key supposedly was that Zimmerman really did understand Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.  Prosecutor Richard Mantei told the court that Zimmerman’s legal studies would help jurors understand his “state of mind” and “ambitions and frustrations” before the shooting.


‘No option to retreat’

But Zimmerman’s defense has never raised the “Stand Your Ground” law for one simple reason: with Zimmerman on his back and Trayvon Martin holding him down, he had no option to retreat.

Comments by President Obama, Al Sharpton, and others surely stirred up the racial aspects of the case and appear to have generated many case across the country where blacks attacked whites to avenge Trayvon Martin (e.g.,Gainesville, Florida; Oak Park, Illinois; Mobile, Alabama; Toledo, Ohio; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Norfolk, Virginia).

It is a case that prosecutors should never have brought, but they let politics influence their decision. Next, it will be the defense’s turn to present their case.  But, for all practical purposes, the Zimmerman trial is already over.

What is your opinion regarding this sensational Zimmerman trial? Feel free to share your thoughts with us!

Source: John Lott | Fox News

Image: Huffington Post