Retrial For Marissa Alexander Is Tentatively Scheduled For Winter 2014

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Marissa Alexanders retrial has been tentatively rescheduled for Dec 1.

Marissa Alexander

Reported by April V. Taylor

The Associated Press is reporting that Marissa Alexander’s retrial has been tentatively rescheduled for December 1st.  The decision on whether or not Alexander should be granted an unprecedented second “stand your ground” hearing was postponed until August 1st.

These latest developments come after Alexander received a 20 year prison sentence under Florida’s minimum mandatory sentencing guidelines for firing a warning shot through a ceiling during a domestic dispute with her estranged husband.  Alexander was originally convicted of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, but the conviction was overturned on appeal.

Judge James Daniel delayed the retrial in an effort to see how new legislation will impact her case.  The legislation was passed but has yet to be signed into law.  It makes it legal to fire a warning shot under Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law.  The legislation was inspired by Alexander’s case, and the delay in beginning her trial stems from the fact that the judge is unsure about whether or not the legislation can be retroactively applied to Alexander’s case.

Florida’s “stand your ground” law is meant to give people the right to defend themselves, with deadly force if necessary, and not have to retreat without facing criminal prosecution for doing so.  Alexander’s claim of self defense was rejected under the “stand your ground” law based on the fact that she had to retrieve the firearm she used from her car prior to firing the warning shot.

Alexander’s attorneys have requested that she receive a second “stand your ground” hearing prior to being retried for the charges, and Judge Daniel made the following statement about how the new legislation may impact Alexander’s case: “Everyone calls it the warning-shot bill, but it’s a lot more than that.  It addressed a lot of ambiguities.”

If Alexander is not granted immunity under the “stand your ground” law, she could face up to 60 years in prison.