You may not remember her name, but you remember the incident.
In 2012, out of Jacksonville, Florida, Marissa Alexander held a gun that she shot in the air towards her ex-husband Rico Gray (and his two sons) in retaliation of enduring a long, abusive relationship with him. Her sentence for the act has now been given a possible waiver since she’s plead “guilty.” In doing so, she’ll be labeled a felon but would only have to finish the next 65 days to meet a three-year requirement. Afterwards, she’ll have two years of community service and wear an ankle monitor for house arrest. Alexander was originally set to serve 20 years by the State Attorney, but in 2014 it was outrageously expanded to 60 years!
Alexander’s story was met with derision nationwide because in comparison to George Zimmerman, who killed unarmed teen Trayvon Martin (also in 2012), he received a slap on the wrist while she was slapped with a prison sentence. The heavily scrutinized “Stand Your Ground” law didn’t protect Alexander, but somehow it was a potential defense for Zimmerman and he was acquitted of all charges. Alexander’s warning shot did not injure anyone, but in her case self-defense was not an acceptable claim.
This matter has largely become an advocacy flag for women’s rights, as earlier in November, a Floridian judge begun to allow other women to come forward with similar claims of self-defense in the way that Alexander did (estranged ex-husband Gray, in his deposition, admitted to being abusive to not just Alexander but in past relationships). Since her declaration of “guilty,” Alisa Bierria, of the Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign released a passionate statement:
“Marissa’s children, family, and community need her to be free as soon as possible. However, the absurdity in Marissa’s case was always the fact that the courts punished and criminalized her for surviving domestic violence, for saving her own life. The mandatory minimum sentences of 20 years, and then 60 years, just made the state’s prosecution increasingly shocking. But we have always believed that forcing Marissa to serve even one day in prison represents a profound and systemic attack on black women’s right to exist and all women’s right to self-defense.”
Alexander has already completed 1030 days and a hearing is set for January 27.
In Case You Need To Lift Your Spirits Today (We Know We Do):