FREE MARISSA ALEXANDER
Update: June 23, 2012 Search Twitter for Marissa Alexander. I just remembered that tomorrow is day of action. The change.org petition I posted at the bottom is circulating with less than 5,000 more signatures needed. Here are some tweets about how you can show your support:
Global Day of Rallies In Support Of Freedom For Marissa Alexander – In Your City or In Jacksonville, Florida http://p.ost.im/p/ec8xJv
Note: I inadvertently posted a rough draft of this on approximately May 18th. This is the rewritten version. I mainly corrected sentence structure and fixed a few broken links, and roped in the rogue copy and paste errors
Marissa Alexander has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for invoking her unenumerated right to protect herself. Her abusive husband threatened to kill her just nine days after she’d given birth. After an unsuccessful attempt to escape, she grabbed a gun and fired a warning shot, not aiming for any person. I’ve read articles saying she shot into a wall, and others saying she shot into the ceiling, but she never shot her husband or anyone else. However, Marissa Alexander, the victim, was found guilty when prosecuted by the same attorney that is prosecuting George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin shooting. She was given the mandatory maximum sentence of twenty years in jail. From CBSnews.com:
Stone says the case is “not perfect from a defense perspective,” but believes Alexander may have grounds for an appeal based on the judge refusing to admit testimony from witnesses who could tell the jury about Gray’s history of violence against women.
First, according to court documents, Alexander violated her bail by returning to the home where the shooting incident took place several months later.
“A lot of people would say, if she’s so afraid of him, what’s she doing going back there?” says Stone.
Second, as the judge pointed out in the ruling that denied stand your ground immunity, presumably Alexander could have fled the home through the back door instead of returning to the house and confronting Gray.
These people seem to know very little about domestic abuse. If they did, they would not be surprised that Alexander returned to the house. Violent, abusive relationships are obviously unhealthy and consist of unhealthy behaviors, such as returning to the abuser. Ms. Alexander’s violation of her probation doesn’t strip her of her most basic, obvious, common sense right to self-preservation, nor does it render her fearless.
The judge said Alexander could have fled the house. Was she supposed to leave children with a man who had just threatened to kill his wife? According to the the Florida Supreme Court [Weiand v. State, 732 So.2d 1044 (Fla. 1999) duty to retreat not applicable in one’s own residence, even when the attacker is her spouse] the judge needs to revisit the law books.
Besides, Marissa Alexander, or any other woman in such a terrible situation, shouldn’t have to flee. If someone is violating me or attempting to violate me in my own home with no possible legitimate reason, I’m legally obligated to run from my house, allowing the attacker a chance to grab me from behind and take me to the ground? Once down, face and body would absorb the full force of impact from every strike, causing serious damage or death. If someone is threatening to harm you and you can defend yourself, why should you have to run from your own house, and put yourself in a more vulnerable position for the sake of someone who you believe is going to seriously injure or kill you?
Corey is trying to successfully prosecute a 12 year old, Cristian Fernandez, for murder as an adult, with the possibility of him ending up in the adult jail population, considering Florida sends more juvenile offenders to adult prisons than any other state. (In 2009, 393 juveniles entered adult prisons.) I think Corey may have a personality disorder, or some form of mental illness because her need to garner the spotlight by means of perverting The Constitution and inflicting punishment upon the innocent is beyond backwards, and reaches into the realm of disturbing. In regards to the Fernandez case she said:
Corey’s Lie – “No one’s ever talked about life in prison. The rumors are rampant about that” and added “I resent people who don’t know anything about this case espousing opinions without knowing all of the facts and circumstances”.
TRUTH – punishment for first degree murder in Florida is a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Corey’s Lie – “In the juvenile system, we can only incarcerate or have him contained for not even two years…”
TRUTH – Adolescents can be incarcerated for as long as the government deems necessary.
I’m beginning to think “Constitutional lawyer” is actually code for “Pervert The Constitution & Ruin The Republic.” (Prez B.O. seems to interpret it the same way. ) Haven’t these public servants, who are supposedly in charge of “keeping Americans safe,” heard the idea that prison creates criminals? I guess things like this are profitable and bound to happen when states are obligated to keep jails at 90% capacity to fulfill private prison contracts. Exposing a developing, traumatized child to inmates is outlandish and very dangerous, with too much potential for rape, other serious injury, or death. He is already a survivor of sexual abuse; he needs help, not jail. His chances of turning out to be a rehabilitated citizen are near zero if he is sentenced to this excessive and unusual punishment of a child, especially if he will never be released. I think Angela Corey hates children. And The Constitution. And guns. And liberty. And common sense. AND kittens.
(This was written around May 17th) I did some more reading and found that this case had been under-reported until recently, with much of the coverage seemingly slanted in Alexander’s favor. Then I read some more, and it started to look like this was more of a legitimate guilty verdict than I’d thought, though I still didn’t agree with the 20 year prison sentence. Or possibly Corey, who has such a stellar past when it comes to gun prosecution, is misleading the media with her statements. The first half of this article at thegrio.com sounds pretty bad for Ms. Alexander, but then the varying statements and testimonies come into play, raising questions about the storyline Corey has told the media. Regardless, a woman firing a warning shot near a person who is making her fear for her safety, has violently abused her in the pass and has just threatened to kill her, seems like a sensible decision made quickly during a highly stressful moment. In my opinion, besides our demented “justice” system denying an innocent victim life and liberty, Marissa’s actions produced the best outcome possible to a very scary situation. What other scenario would have kept her fleabag husband from being injured or killed, and Marissa and the children from being hurt in her own home? This is just another ridiculous example of “Backwards is Forwards,”an increasingly common and unsettling trend I have observed.
The court offered Marissa Alexander a 3 year plea deal, but she declined because she did nothing wrong. They have a Stand Your Ground Law (again, this is redundant because it is an implied natural right to be able to defend yourself ), and a battered wife trying to escape from her violent husband seems like the type of incident where SYG could be easily invoked, but now she is the dangerous criminal? When an innocent tried to seek justice by rebelling and refusing to go along with status quo by falsely admitting guilt, she was punished. Alexander was charged with three counts of aggravated assault caused by one bullet that supposedly was fired in the direction of the abuser and the children, although it ended up hitting the ceiling. They seem to be saying to her “We offered you a deal, you challenged us and didn’t go along with status quo when you refused to plead guilty, so now you have to deal with it.”
I am disgusted and heartbroken over this case. Revictimizing the victim with a 20 year prison sentence is appalling. Because Alexander turned down the plea deal and was convicted, she must serve a mandatory twenty years behind bars for protecting herself from being beaten by someone who had just threatened her life, and in the past had beaten her so badly that she ended up in the hospital. Regardless, Angela Corey needs to go. She has an awful history with gun prosecution; read about it and sign the petitions here and here and here.
Please pass the petitions along.
The court is making this about the Stand Your Ground Law, but that law is unnecessary. It is redundant. Every freedom we enjoy is not listed in The Constitution or The Bill of Rights. That is because certain common rights, often called natural rights, unenumerated rights, or fundamental rights, are implied. They didn’t need to code into law the right to grow our own food, the right to drink beverages we make, the right to privacy, the right to travel freely, the right to build a house on our own property, and the right to defend ourselves. It’s so absurd to even consider whether we are “allowed” to use self-defense or not (“defense” implying someone has or is going to attack you, not like U.S. Dept. of “Defense” which is the opposite of defensive). Another example of a redundant law was the one Texas tried to pass to make TSA molestation a crime. Molestation is already a crime.
Isn’t self-defense a completely natural, innate reaction in animals? Different animals use different self-defense techniques in different situations. Some stand their ground and fight back, others defend themselves by hiding or retreating. Think of roly polies. Their natural defense is to curl into a little ball. A chameleon blends into its background. However, a tiger is likely going to growl, roar, bite and thrash with its claws. A king cobra snake is likely to puff up its hood posture, and then strike. You wouldn’t say the tiger and cobra were wrong or bad if they were being threatened with death, would you? I know that is oversimplifying it, but my point is self-defense is a law of nature, and to question that is absolutely unfathomable to me. I cannot for one second grasp the reasoning behind it, not at all.