Marissa Alexander: ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law Fails Domestic Violence Victim

Marissa Alexander was found guilty in a Florida court last week of three counts of aggravated assault in an incident where she fired her legally registered gun at the ceiling while trying to escape from her now-ex-husband in 2010.

Despite the fact that 36-year-old ex-husband Rico Gray was arrested in 2009 for beating her, and that his deposition admitted he was beating her the night of the incident, Marissa may spend up to 20 years in jail for the single shot that echoed through their Jacksonville, Florida home. Gray even stated that:

“I got five baby mamas and I put my hand on every last one of them except one. The way I was with women, they was like they had to walk on eggshells around me.”

Many of Alexander’s supporters wonder where Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law was during Marissa’s trial, or even battered-spouse laws. Instead of being protected under the same law as Trayvon Martin’s killer George Zimmerman, Marissa Alexander finds herself behind bars.

While Alexander’s lawyer did file for immunity in the incident, however a judge dismissed it. Helen Jenkins, Alexander’s mother stated that:

“You hear about people killing people and walking away. You hear about people shooting people and not getting charged for it. I look at my daughter, she didn’t shoot anyone, she wanted to protect herself. She didn’t want to kill him, she just didn’t want him to kill her. In America we have the right to bear arms. She did everything right that she was supposed to do and she ended up behind bars facing 20 years. I don’t know what that says. Does that tell men it’s OK to beat your wives? I haven’t heard anything about that.”

Following her conviction, the 31-year-old mother of three pleaded for her freedom. Wiping away tears, she said:

“This is my life I’m fighting for. “If you do everything to get on the right side of the law, and it is a law that does not apply to you, where do you go from there?”

Kevin M. Cobbin, Marissa Alexander’s attorney stated that he is currently fighting for a new trial and, hopefully, an overturned conviction.

Check out a different take on Marissa Alexander’s verdict here: