Marissa Alexander, the woman who fired a warning shot after her abusive husband, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, according to CBS.Alexander’s case was thrust into the spotlight because her defence was Florida’s famed “Stand Your Ground” law, which gained notoriety during the Trayvon Martin investigation. She had never been in legal or police trouble before.
And she fired a warning shot to escape an allegedly abusive husband that she told police had been choking her. She did not shoot her husband, nor was he injured.
Her 11-year-old daughter broke down when interviewed by the local CBS affiliate after the trial.
“I really was crying in there,” Alexander’s 11-year-old daughter told WETV, the CBS affiliate in Jacksonville. “I didn’t want to cry in court, but I just really feel hurt. I don’t think this should have been happening.”
Alexander rejected a plea deal that would have put her behind bars for three years. Then she was convicted of attempted murder.
According to an op-ed in The Florida Times Union, jurors were not told that Alexander would serve a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison if convicted. According to CBS, Circuit Court Judge James Daniel said the mandatory minimum law did not provide extenuating circumstances in this case.
Florida’s 10-20-Life statutes are where the mandatory minimum comes from: Possessing a gun during a crime equals a mandatory 10-year sentence. Firing the gun means at least 20 years. Shooting and killing a person is a mandatory 25 years to life.
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