A Marissa Alexander Retrial?

A Marissa Alexander Retrial?

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In an unexpected new development, the Florida case of Marissa Alexander, 31, will be the subject of a retrial motion next week with the sentencing delayed.  During a pre-sentencing hearing this morning in Jacksonville, FL, Circuit Judge James Daniel agreed to hear arguments from both sides on the question of whether a retrial will be granted in her case.

Arguments will be heard on Monday, April 30.  Through a spokeswoman, prosecutor Nicholas Lake said he’d make “no further comments” regarding the case.

New attention on Melissa Alexander’s case spearheaded by her first husband, Lincoln Alexander – who created the website, Justice for Marissa – would appear to have had an effect.  After telling Marissa Alexander’s story during interviews with Black Talk Radio News and Michael Baisden last week, Lincoln Alexander appeared on CNN with Anderson Cooper.  A petition drive in support of Marissa Alexander is also underway.  Lincoln Alexander attended the pre-sentencing hearing today and informed Politic365 of Judge Daniel’s action.

Marissa Alexander faces a mandatory minimum sentence of twenty years in prison after being convicted in 2011 of three counts of aggravated assault with no intent to kill or harm.  In 2010, during an argument with her second husband at their home in Jacksonville, she fired a bullet into the ceiling of their home. Alexander asserted that she fired the weapon to ward off an attack from her husband. Alexander shot no one nor was anyone injured during the incident.

During Marissa Alexander’s trial, a motion to invoke Florida’s stand-your-ground law on her behalf was denied by Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Senterfitt.  Since February 2011, Marissa Alexander, the mother of three children, has been behind bars.

The application of the stand-your-ground law in Florida would appear to be highly subjective.  Though Marissa Alexander had no obligation to retreat when her husband allegedly assaulted her, Judge Senterfitt reasoned that Alexander could have exited the home during the attack when she ruled against Alexander’s stand-your-ground motion.

Late Sunday night, George Zimmerman, who killed Trayvon Martin on February 26, was released from police custody in Sanford, FL after he was granted a $150,000 bond by Judge Kenneth Lester on April 20.  Zimmerman had been previously arrested for felony assault on a police officer in 2005. Zimmerman was also granted permission to leave the state of Florida.

Zimmerman had already been free from the night of February 26 until 46 days later when, after much protest and media attention, he was charged and arrested on April 11 with second degree murder by Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey.  The U.S. Justice Department is also conducting an investigation of Martin’s killing.

Judge Daniel could be taking a new look at the case of Marissa Alexander.  The Jacksonville NAACP Chapter President, Isiah Rumlin wrote Judge Daniel regarding Melissa Alexander’s case.  “We take issue with the State denying her (Alexander’s) right to claim self-defense under Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law.’ [Alexander] did all that she possibly could to protect herself from her husband at the time, including an injunction for protection against violence, which was active on the day of the incident,” the letter in part read.

The National Bar Association, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the NAACP, members of the Congressional Black Caucus, the Rev. Al Sharpton and many others are challenging the stand-your-ground laws.  The laws, enacted in twenty five states, have coincided with an increase in “justifiable” homicide cases.

LAUREN VICTORIA BURKEPolitic365 Chief Congressional Correspondent, publishes the blog Crewof42 on the Congressional Black Caucus.  She is heard every Tuesday on WMCS 1290 in Milwaukee on Earl Ingram’s show The Evening Rush as well as on WHUR and WPFW in Washington DC.  You can e-mail her at LBurke007@gmail.com and  follow her on twitter at @crewof42

16 COMMENTS

  1. This is a great article. Thank you for bringing attention to Marissa's case. I would just say you should have included that it has been reported Angela Corey was the prosecutor in Marissa's case. This is the same Angela Corey now prosecuting Zimmerman, as you mentioned. I think the Stand Your Ground law is ridiculous and dangerous, but it is the law of the land. I find it very odd that twice now Angela Corey has simply acted as if the law does not exist, and is prosecuting people who should go free under Florida law. I think Angela Corey needs to be investigated for this gross miscarriage of justice.

  2. No matter how I try not to generalize about certain state populations I keep seeing this demonstration of idiocy and stupidity in the state of Florida. What is it with these people? Thank God Ms Alexander didn't hit anyone with that bullett. How do you face 20 years for protecting yourself in a state that allows you to "stand your ground"? How can a guy kill someone and use the stand your ground defense and walks on a measly $150K bond and a woman who doesn't even HIT anybody with the bullet face 20 years in prison…is it the Judge…the jury…the defense…? WHAT THA HELL IS IT.

  3. Why can't the press just be honest and say that she's automatically innocent because she's black AND a woman? You know this is all about race, because any Latino other than Zimmerman would have been considered a non-white and given a free pass, but since he's a man he's been labelled with the most politically-incorrect race available, to push public opinion toward convicting him.

    Think about it. Zimmerman was directly under attack when he fired his gun, and everyone wants him dead because he's a white man. Alexander was NOT under attack, and in fact she'd left the house to get her gun and came back inside specifically to shoot at her victim, when she could have left and kept going, but somehow's she's automatically innocent because she's black and a woman.

    You people want to pretend you're not racist, that all the bad people are someone else, that all the people with prejudice are ignorant savages, but it's you. It'll always be you.

    • Couldn’t help but to respond to your comments posted here. You obvious have your information incorrect, or have not followed the evidence, proof and details of the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman incident.

      So, I’m going to correct you here…
      George Zimmerman was out of line from the start with that incident, he was specifically advised not to follow and pursue that kid, yet disobeyed that advice from the 911 operator even after acknowledging “ok” that he would stand down from the pursuit.

      Your assessment of this case is typical of idiots supporting this guy! Secondly, even though he had a license to carry a weapon, he was not suppose to carrying one while on duty as a neighborhood watch personnel, that was against the polices of the watch program organization.

      You need to get your facts straight!!
      A neighborhood watch program is just that…
      To watch and report suspicious activity, not to pursue and take the law in your own hands, this is why he’s in the fix and position he’s in now, because he didn’t adhere to that policy, he overstepped them.

      Now he’s trying to use the stupid ass ” Stand your ground” law clause to try and get off the hook for his dirty deed, and unlawful act. Get off of it, this guy is not innocent by no means of the word, he wouldn’t have had to spout he acted in self defense if he’d kept his ass on his vehicle and just called the police as the HOA appointed him to do!!

      This is not a Black or White thing as you’re trying to insist. This is a Right and Wrong thing!!! And that night Mr. Zimmerman chose the wrong thing to do!!!

      Plain and Simple!!!
      Pull your head out of the ground!!!

      • Actually, YOU'RE the one with his facts wrong. The dispatcher didn't tell Zimmerman not to follow him. Her exact words were "We don't need you to do that."

        And even if you WEREN'T lying there, dispatchers don't have any jurisdictional authority over the neighborhood watch. There's no chain of command from dispatchers, because they're just radio heads not actual commanders.

        So, since your entire argument here is based on a lie, you're now dismissed. Enjoy your day.

    • Besides, how could you or he in this matter claim self defense when he initiated the pursuit of this kid??? Explain that!!!
      A 17 year old kid lost life that night because Mr. Zimmerman’s suspicions, and his desire to be a vigilante and score browny points with law enforcement and police trying to be a hero!!!

      Some Hero, look where his ass is now!!!

      • This is America – you're allowed to walk up to someone in a public place and talk to them, which is all Zimmerman did. What you're NOT allowed to do is attack someone unprovoked, which is what Martin did.

        I notice, by the tone of your pigheaded display of ignorance, that you're not aware of the coroner's report on Trayvon Martin showing that his knuckles were cut and bruised, indicating that he'd been beating someone up, just as Zimmerman said. This is ironclad proof of the validity of Zimmerman's self-defense claim.

  4. It is simple-Zimmerman was under attack by Tayvon and was defending himself- By law it does not matter who was the instigator. Zimmerman tried to summon for help but was ignored. It was not 2nd degree murder nor manslaughter by definition. It was self defense. It is simple understanding of the law. The jury got it right based on law.

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