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Author Topic: Florida woman sentenced to 20 years in controversial warning shot case  (Read 3179 times)

Offline Kain

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(CNN) -- Saying he had no discretion under state law, a judge sentenced a Jacksonville, Florida, woman to 20 years in prison Friday for firing a warning shot in an effort to scare off her abusive husband.
Marissa Alexander unsuccessfully tried to use Florida's controversial "stand your ground" law to derail the prosecution, but a jury in March convicted her of aggravated assault after just 12 minutes of deliberation.
The case, which was prosecuted by the same state attorney who is handling the Trayvon Martin case, has gained the attention of civil rights leaders who say the African-American woman was persecuted because of her race.
After the sentencing, Rep. Corrine Brown confronted State Attorney Angela Corey in the hallway, accusing her of being overzealous, according to video from CNN affiliate WJXT.
"There is no justification for 20 years," Brown told Corey during an exchange frequently interrupted by onlookers. "All the community was asking for was mercy and justice," she said.
Corey said she had offered Alexander a plea bargain that would have resulted in a three-year prison sentence, but Alexander chose to take the case to a jury trial, where a conviction would carry a mandatory sentence under a Florida law known as "10-20-life."

The law mandates increased penalties for some felonies, including aggravated assault, in which a gun is carried or used.
Corey said the case deserved to be prosecuted because Alexander fired in the direction of a room where two children were standing.
Alexander said she was attempting to flee her husband, Rico Gray, on August 1, 2010, when she picked up a handgun and fired a shot into a wall.
She said her husband had read cell phone text messages that she had written to her ex-husband, got angry and tried to strangle her.
She said she escaped and ran to the garage, intending to drive away. But, she said, she forgot her keys, so she picked up her gun and went back into the house. She said her husband threatened to kill her, so she fired one shot.
"I believe when he threatened to kill me, that's what he was absolutely going to do," she said. "That's what he intended to do. Had I not discharged my weapon at that point, I would not be here."
Alexander's attorneys tried to use the state law that allows people to use potentially deadly force anywhere they feel reasonably threatened with serious harm or death.
But a previous judge in the case rejected the request, saying Alexander's decision to go back into the house was not consistent with someone in fear for her safety, according to the Florida Times Union newspaper.
A jury convicted Alexander in March and Judge James Daniel denied her request for a new trial in April.
Daniel handed down the sentence Friday after an emotional sentencing hearing during which Alexander's parents, 11-year-old daughter and pastor spoke on her behalf.
Several people had to be escorted from the courtroom after breaking out singing and chanting about a perceived lack of justice in the case, but Daniel made a point to say that he had no choice under state law.
"Under the state's 10-20-life law, a conviction for aggravated assault where a firearm has been discharged carries a minimum and maximum sentence of 20 years without regarding to any extenuating or mitigating circumstances that may be present, such as those in this case," Daniel said.
Brown, the Jacksonville congresswoman, told reporters after the sentencing that the case was a product of "institutional racism."
"She was overcharged by the prosecutor. Period," Brown said. "She never should have been charged."
Brown has been more complimentary about Corey's work in the Trayvon Martin case, where her office filed second degree murder charges against neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in the February 26 death of the unarmed African-American teen-ager.
That case provoked nationwide protests demanding Zimmerman's arrest after an initial police investigation released him under the "stand your ground" law.

Offline Curly

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I guess she made a mistake by not just shooting him.........  :dunno:

20 years does not seem justified based on what I read here.
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Offline bearhunter99

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I don't see the justification for the ruling unless there are other circumstances the media is not covering.  What I don't understand is why everything has to be racialy motivated these days.   :dunno: :dunno: :dunno: 

"has gained the attention of civil rights leaders who say the African-American woman was persecuted because of her race."

Zimerman is white when he shoots someone but if he was shot by a white person it would have been a hate crime against a latino. What race was the jury made up of?  12 jurors in Florida where there is a fairly high percentage of African Americans?  It was pretty unanimous if they reached a verdict in 12 minutes.  Was the jury twelve white males?  I doubt it.
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Online pianoman9701

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Bearhunter, everything is not racially motivated. The media makes it so. Then Sharpton and jackson get involved and MSNBC interviews them. That's when it takes the racial spin.
"Restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens based on the actions of criminals and madmen will have no positive effect on the future acts of criminals and madmen. It will only serve to reduce individual rights and the very security of our republic." - Pianoman

Offline TwoSixFourWins

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As bear hunter stated about the article 12 minutes it a pretty quick decision. Don't forget the media only writes in the parts it wants to. We were not in the court room to hear what went on and therefore don't know the whole story. I do however believe that the laws that made this an issue in the first place are to blame. I understand they are targeted towards real criminals but law abiding citizens get caught in the same iron "justice" and like the judge said he had no other choice because of the ways laws are written. Should have just shot the *censored*. I think it is tragic that our laws must be written so as common sense has no bearing on the legal outcome; all because so few people have common sense.
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Offline wraithen

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Yeah, this story either has MAJOR gaps or we are hearing less than half the full story. She went back inside to get her car keys instead of running to a neighbors house when she was already home free? And her WARNING shot went into a wall. Not the floor or the roof. It also doesn't say she feared for her kids' safety. WTH?! We aren't getting a full story and this one doesn't make any sense. This isn't about what they want us to think it is. I think it's bait to try and get pro 2nd ammendment people in a trap. Smells all wrong man, all wrong.
the head has been lopped of the eagle.our country has become a nation of losers,them that feed on the teet and can do no more than suckle from them that toil. ~ Rasbo

Offline NW-GSP

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The mistake that she made as far as I can see is that she shot at a wall in wich her kids were on the other side of

Offline JLS

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The mistake that she made as far as I can see is that she shot at a wall in wich her kids were on the other side of

Or that she was not justified in shooting the shot in the first place.

If the jury deliberated 12 minutes, then this was as open and shut of a case as you can get.  It takes 10 minutes to appoint a jury foreman and listen to instructions.

If she truly was in danger, I am willing to be that at a minimum, there would have been a hung jury regardless of whether or not her shot hit a wall near her children.
Matthew 7:13-14

Online pianoman9701

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We don't know all there is about this case. I've been on a felony jury which deliberated for less than 5 minutes. It has to be pretty darn clear for citizens to convict in such a short time.
"Restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens based on the actions of criminals and madmen will have no positive effect on the future acts of criminals and madmen. It will only serve to reduce individual rights and the very security of our republic." - Pianoman

Offline NWBREW

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20 years for a warning shot? People get less then that for actually shooting someone. Something is not right. The punishment does not fit the crime.
Just one more day

Offline gaddy

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like has been said, we dont have the rest of the story.

Offline shoot-em-dead

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20 year sentence sounds like it is a Florida state law mandatory for repeat offenders. Doesn't matter what the crime.
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