Alexander, a 31-year-old mother of three, claimed in court that she fired a warning shot into the ceiling of a house after her husband threatened her and moved in her direction. The husband was not hit.
In issuing the ruling, the judge said Alexander could have escaped the situation instead of firing her gun.
But that is not the law!
Florida's minimum-sentence guidelines require Alexander to serve 20 years in prison because a gun was fired in the incident.
20 years?! So the judge refuses to apply the established law of "Stand Your Ground" - but is okay with the mandatory minimum sentence law being strictly applied.
Was she justified?
Representative Corrine Brown of Florida, who attended the sentencing, issued a statement criticizing the prison term.
"If women who are victims of domestic violence try to protect themselves, the 'Stand Your Ground' law will not apply to them," she said.
"Just minutes before the incident, Marissa's husband told her 'If I can't have you, nobody is going to have you.' Millions of abused women have heard those words."
Alexander alleged that during the August 1, 2010, incident her husband choked her and refused to let her leave the house. She said she eventually escaped to the garage, then realized she left her car keys behind and returned, carrying a handgun.
The office of Florida State Attorney Angela Corey said evidence at the scene suggested the shot was fired in a more threatening direction and put at risk two children who were also in the home at the time.
What, because they were not already at risk by the presence of her ex-husband?!
Alexander had no prior criminal record and possessed a court-issued protective order against her husband at the time of the attack.
This is truly a travesty. I recall being in the courtroom of the Honorable Nancy Pollard, in the Superior Court of Orange County, California, when she would issue restraining orders. She would ask the protected person to hold up the order, and when they did so, would tell them:: "Look at that piece of paper. That will not stop a bullet. Be smart!"
And here now Marissa is facing an abusive husband, against who she has that piece of paper, and who is threatening her. She has to protect herself and her children. Rather than plug the guy - an act which I would applaud - she warns him off . . . and it must have worked because instead of becoming a tragic statistic of domestic violence, she lives . . . to be sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Here is a Facebook account set up on her behalf. Marissa can receive mail at:
Marissa Alexander 2011001436
500 E. Adams St
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Oh, and the child she had with her abuser? Is with . . . the abuser. And word is he is not allowing her family to see the child.
Sign a petition to release her.