Zimmerman Got Away With Murder...
Marissa Alexander Got 20 Years

August 4, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Marissa Alexander, a 32-year-old Black woman, was arrested in 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida, after she fired a warning shot into a wall of her home to stop an attack. The attacker was her estranged husband, who had beaten and abused her when she was pregnant, and against whom she had a restraining order. She had given birth to a premature baby just nine days earlier. The warning shot likely stopped a violent assault and possibly saved her life.

Alexander was charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, as well as child abuse for firing a weapon in her home. At the trial, she rejected a plea bargain that would have resulted in a three-year prison sentence. Instead, she attempted to invoke the "stand your ground" and self-defense laws in her defense. But in March of this year, she was convicted and sentenced to 20 years under a Florida law that carries a mandatory minimum for certain gun violations. The jury took 15 minutes to convict her.

The self-defense and "stand your ground" laws in Florida and other states don't outright give license to white racists to kill Black people under any pretense and call it self-defense. But in a society so deeply stamped with white supremacy, that's the definite subtext. The acquittal of George Zimmerman shows this in one way. What happened to Marissa Alexander shows it in another way.

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