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Who is Angela Corey really fighting for?

Henry Crespo, Sr. | 3/13/2014, 9 a.m.

Does Angela Corey, State Attorney of Florida’s 4th  Judicial Circuit Court, seek justice for both the crime victim and the defendant accused of the alleged crime? NO! I believe she doesn’t. If Justice means, “protecting rights and punishing wrongs, using fairness”, then Corey is way off the mark with the cases involving Marissa Alexander, Michael Dunn, Christian Fernandez, and Ronald Thompson.

Let’s look at one case in particular. State Attorney Corey is seeking three 20 year consecutive sentences for Marissa Alexander who fired a warning shot in the presence of her abusive husband. She shot the gun in self-defense to scare her estranged husband. The bullet went into the ceiling. No one was killed or injured. The state did not let her use the Stand Your Ground Law. Some wonder how Marissa became the defendant, when it seems the situation started out as her being the victim – now she is facing 60 years. In the rule of law this may set a precedent for every woman in an abusive relationship, especially when she tries to protect herself from her abuser. Is Marissa Alexander receiving justice?

Then, there is the 2009 Ronald Thompson case where a 65 year old army veteran fired two shots into the ground to scare off teenagers who were demanding entry into his friend’s house in Keystone Heights, Florida.    Corey won a conviction for a mandatory 20 year sentence under Florida’s 10-20 Life statute against Thompson after he refused a plea agreement with a three-year prison sentence.

The Judge in the case called the 20 year sentence “a crime in itself” and declared the 10-20 life statute unconstitutional. Skinner gave Thompson 3 years. However, Corey appealed the 3 year sentence and won, sending Thompson to prison for 20 years. Why appeal under these circumstances? How is 20 years justified under the circumstances in this case?  He shot into the ground! Did Ronald Thompson receive justice?

Corey has been accused of overcharging defendants. Like most prosecuting attorneys, she hoped the defendants would cop out to a plea to a lesser charge.    Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor and defense attorney in the O.J. Simpson states, “Corey is known for overcharging. She’s known for being highly political.”

The cases of Marissa Alexander and Ronald Thompson are prime examples of this. Both were prosecuted under the 10-20 life mandatory minimum statute. Many people feel this is unjust under the circumstances. I, with many Floridians, have lost confidence in Corey to effectively seek justice, and work in the best interest of crime victims, as well as defendants accused of an alleged crime. I think it is time for State Attorney Corey to go. I wonder, will the same crowd of thousands that chanted, “Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Angela Corey Gotta Go!” On February 14 in front of her office Jacksonville will show up to vote her out of office. I know I will be casting my voice.

By Democratic Black Caucus President, Henry Crespo, Sr.