COMMENTARY | If George Zimmerman was able to use Florida's "Stand Your Ground Law," why can't Marissa Alexander to defend shooting her alleged abusive husband?
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Jacksonville, Fla., Judge James Daniels sentenced Alexander, a mother of three, to 20 years for shooting her then-husband Rico Gray in 2010. Gray had been arrested twice for domestic battery and Alexander had an active injunction against him. Gray fired a warning shot at Gray and didn't hit him.
Zimmerman was eventually charged with second degree murder of Trayvon Martin but only after police originally bought his explanation that he fired in self-defense. But a wife wasn't standing her ground shooting someone who was attacking her?
Jacksonville special prosecutor Angela Corey says Alexander wasn't properly scared enough to claim "Stand Your Ground." Alexander was angry when she shot at her husband. There's little difference between fear to anger, especially in cases of assault. At least Corey sees that "Stand Your Ground" doesn't work for Zimmerman either.
The judge in the Alexander case said she could have escaped instead of shooting at him. I could implode when someone says women should get out of the abuser's way. It's like saying they bring it on themselves. The state failed to protect Alexander and now it's punishing her for protecting herself.
I thought that was the point of "Stand Your Ground." You don't have to run if you are threatened. Even if you think you are threatened. A battered wife is the best example of why laws like "Stand Your Ground" were written. According to Florida'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." Zimmerman did more than discharge the firearm. He killed with it.
Something is rotten in Florida.
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- George Zimmerman