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Marissa Alexander hopes for bond after being imprisoned over two years

D. Kevin McNeir | 11/21/2013, 9 a.m.
Marissa Alexander was sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot over the head of her allegedly abusive husband. Miami Times Illustration

Alexander has maintained her innocence and says she was trapped and had no choice but to fire a warning shot at her husband. In terms of her time in jail, Alexander assaulted him again less than five months later and pleaded no contest to domestic battery. Gray has also been arrested twice in Duval County on domestic abuse charges, one resulting in a conviction and a sentence of probation. Alexander had also filed an injunction for protection against Gray.

However, as Zimmet points out in his request for bond, texts sent from Gray to Alexander asking if he could keep having sex with her, make it clear that he is not afraid of her and that there is no reason to keep her in jail.

Comparisons to Zimmerman trial

Alexander’s case got greater attention, both locally and nationally, after a jury ruled that George Zimmerman was innocent in the murder of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer, who fatally shot the unarmed teenager, was found not guilty of second-degree murder. He was also acquitted of manslaughter, a lesser charge. Zimmerman said he shot Martin in self-defense after the teen knocked him to the ground, punched him and slammed his head repeatedly against the sidewalk. The jury agreed that Zimmerman could have been justified in shooting Martin because he feared great bodily harm or death.

But Congresswoman Corrine Brown, who has been a member of Congress since 1992 and whose district includes Duval County, says that Alexander’s case is no different and that she too should have been allowed to stand her ground.

“If this isn’t a case of standing your ground, then there is no such thing,” Brown said. “She had a restraining order against her husband and had been beaten before. The prosecutor offered her three years but to accept such a deal would have ruined her life. Three years is not mercy and 20 years if not justice. Florida is where the whole minimum mandatory sentencing began and it needs to ends here too. Such rulings have become a cancer that has spread across the country. Marissa has two children that are almost teenagers and a three-year-old baby — she poses no threat to anyone and deserves to be home with her family. That’s my Thanksgiving wish for her.”