We have all gotten to know Marissa Alexander as a Black mother of two from Florida who fired a warning shot at her abusive husband and ended up behind bars facing 20 years in prison. According to local Jacksonville News 4, the 34-year-old has now been released from jail to spend the remainder of her three year sentence on house arrest.
Alexander read the following statement in court:
“Today, after the sentence given by Judge Daniel, my family and I will be able to move on with our lives. Although the journey has been long and there’s been many difficult moments, I could not have arrived here, where I am today, without the thoughts, many thoughts and many prayers of so many people who voiced their support and encouragement. Words can never express my gratitude for those who stood beside me, including my children and family. I am also grateful that Judge Daniel approached this case with such care and diligence.”
While this is certainly good news, we can’ t help but notice that she’s still not a free woman. Alexander has been through three years in prison, being treated as a violent criminal instead of a mother who was protecting herself and her children. According to reports, the shot Alexander fired left a bullet in a wall, not a ceiling, so the warning shot defense was questionable. It was reported that Alexander gave birth to a child nine days before the shooting in August 2010. Prosecutors said she was angry at Gray because he’d accused her of infidelity and questioned whether their newborn was his. Alexander said Gray became enraged and beat her up after he saw she’d texted her ex-husband. She fled from him into the garage but found the garage door wouldn’t open. She got a gun out of her car and went back into the house. She said Gray charged her and screamed he was going to kill her before she fired. That’s why Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but her conviction was later overturned on appeal because Circuit Judge James Daniel claimed he made a mistake during jury instructions.
This past November, Alexander accepted a plea deal for three counts of aggravated assault with a weapon, which required her to spend 65 more days in jail and after–house arrest, which she started on Tuesday Jan 27.
This house arrest requires Alexander to wear a monitor on her ankle that tracks her whereabouts. She will have to pay $105 a week in monitoring fees, which is typical in Florida and more than a dozen other states. It sure beats prison time, even though it is a prison on its own.
We’re glad she’s “free” though.