black women

Marissa Alexander is denied a Stand Your Ground Hearing

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marissaApril V. Taylor

Judge James Daniel has issued an order denying Melissa Alexander’s motion for a new Stand Your Ground Hearing.  Alexander is charged with shooting a fireaarm for firing a warning shot during a domestic dispute with her abusive husband.  Alexander’s original request for immunity under the Stand Your Ground law was denied, and she was subsequently sentenced to 20 years.  The conviction was eventually thrown out in an appeals court.

Alexander’s attorneys had argued for a new Stand Your Ground hearing based on new evidence that includes her estranged husband’s son recanting his testimony regarding the night of the incident.  Despite attorney Bruce Zimet arguing that Alexander would be subject to “manifest injustice” if her immunity was not given reconsideration following the admission from her stepson that he was pressured by his father to make false statements, Judge Daniel did not feel that the evidence was new.  He based his denial of a new hearing on that fact.

Alexander is currently out on bond and could face a decades long prison sentence if convicted on the three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon based on the state’s 10-20-Life sentencing guidelines.  Her case helped inspire expanded legislation regarding Stand Your Ground that allows victims to not be prosecuted for firing a warning shot, but the law has not been retroactively applied to Alexander’s case.  The State Attorney’s Office has issued a statement saying, “The State stands ready to take this case to trial and seek justice for our two child victims and their father.”  Her new trial is set to begin December 1.

Supporters continue to protest against the state for its treatment of Alexander, and activists continue to work on amending Stand Your Ground legislation.