According to reports from the Florida Times Union, during a dispute on August 1st 2010, Marissa Danielle Alexander was being choked by her husband.He wouldn’t let her out of the home. She broke free of him, grabbed a gun and fired a warning shot into the ceiling.
Now she is going to prison for 20 years.
She did not shoot her husband, or injure him. But she was charged with three counts of aggravated assault.
The tough charges came from the office of prosecutor Angela Corey, the same Florida prosecutor who charged George Zimmerman with the second degree murder of Trayvon Martin.
According to reports, the NAACP in Jacksonville argued that Alexander acted within her rights under Florida’s controversial ‘Stand Your Ground’ law. The judge denied her immunity under that statute.
According to an op-ed by Greg Newburn in The Florida Times Union, jurors were NOT told that if convicted, Alexander would serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years imprisonment.
Florida’s mandatory minimum sentences have taken away the discretion of judges in other cases. Where they apply, mitigating factors like spotless criminal records, or testimony that crimes were committed from fear rather than malice cannot be considered by the judge in the sentencing phase.
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