Monday, September 30, 2013

Marissa Alexander, Who Was Sentenced to 20 Years for Firing a Warning Shot at her Abusive Husband Gets New Trial

An undated photo of Marissa Alexander

From the Trenches

After unsuccessfully invoking Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law, Marissa Alexander will now get a second chance to prove that she fired a warning shot at her husband because she felt threatened.

Although Duval County Judge James H. Daniel rejected the idea of using Stand Your Ground laws as a defense, he granted Alexander a new trial Thursday, allowing her to prove to the jury that the shot was indeed fired in self-defense.  
“We reject her contention that the trial court erred in declining to grant her immunity from prosecution under Florida’s SYG law, but we remand for a new trial because the jury instructions on self-defense were erroneous,” Daniel wrote, according to a report by ABC.
Alexander’s case, with the reference to SYG, was often paralleled with the Trayvon Martin shooting. However, when positioned next to each other details were often sparse and centered on race. For example, the Martin incident resulted in the acquittal of a white neighborhood watch volunteer who pursued and shot to death an unarmed black teen, whereas Alexander’s story resulted in her, a black female, getting 20 year in prison for firing a warning shot at her abusive, estranged husband.


  1. When I first read of this case, I thought it would be a no-brainer self defense determination. I personally have a hard time with warning shots because you're responsible for where the round goes and there is no legal level of fear that justifies warning shots. If you need to fire the weapon, it should be aimed at the threat.
    As the report describes, the warning shot which, "hit the wall and ricocheted into the ceiling". Two of her children were also present in the room and the deflected bullet passed close to one of them which was an aggravating factor.
    Strangely enough, four months after the shooting Alexander was charged for assaulting Gray, to which she pleaded no contest. A very messy case.

    1. Yeah, messy, especially the 20 year sentence.

  2. Did you see how some racist Republican named Neil Combee is trying to make warning shots legal in light of this case?

    On another note, check the wording in the first paragraph. Is it really a warning shot when it is fired AT someone?

    1. I noticed that in my own post title but couldn't come up with a more accurate rendering that was also brief. I figured one of you eagle-eyed pro-gun guys would point it out.

  3. If you'll recall, a lot of us here supported her claim of self-defense.