December 12, 2018

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MARISSA ALEXANDER'S MOUNTAIN

Marissa Alexander is a 31 year old mother of three is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in a Florida prison for discharging her firearm into the ceiling of her home to ward off further abuse at the hands of her husband, Rico Gray. Mr. Gray had just assaulted Marissa and was at her homein violation of an order for protection. Marissa is scheduled for sentencingon Friday, May 11, 2012 at the Duval County Courthouse, Jacksonville, Florida, Judge James Daniel presiding.
It was August 1, 2010 when Marissa Alexander was assaulted and choked in the bathroom of her home by her husband, Rico Gray. After being battered, she attempted to flee and ran into the garage but was unable to drive out due to a malfunction of the garage door.Shegot her gun and reentered the home where her husband continuedhis threats to kill her.She fired a shot into the ceiling and he fled the home, along with his two sons, and then calledpolice.Though Marissa suffered injury, she wasarrested first andthen taken to the hospital for treatment. Her husband, who has a documented history of battering women,admitted to abusingMarissa and several other women in separate relationships.
State attorney, Angela Corey, charged Marissa with3 counts of aggravated assault without intent to harm. She offered Marissa a plea of 3 years which Marissarejected for she felt she did nothing wrong. Initially, she was offered time served by one of the prosecuting attorneys so shebelieved that she wouldbe exonerated of this offense. The jury of3 males and 3 females deliberated for only 12 minutes before renderingtheir guilty verdict. In the state of Florida, with unusually cruel and harsh mandatoryminimum sentencing statutes in place, this conviction carries 20 years minimum. If sentenced on Friday, May 11, 2012, Marissa will be the victim of one of Florida’s most indiscriminate, disproportionate, incongruentsentencing statutes that contains no flexibility for a judge’s discretion.
Marissa’s first judge, Judge Senterfeit, ruled that “Stand Your Ground” does not apply in this case becauseshe felt that Marissa was not in fear of her life and could have found other means ofescape. Her successor, Judge James Daniel, chose not to challenge the decisionof his judicial predecessor.
The attorney of record, Kevin Cobbin, filed several motions to present theerrorsof Marissa’s trial. JudgeDaniel denied these motions but gave consideration to the fact that Mr. Gray’s oldest son testified that he had no fear that Marissa would harm him. However, this testimony would alter only the charge, reducing it to two counts of aggravated assault without intent to harm, but would not effect the sentence.On May 3, 2011,a number of supporters filed out of the courtroom feeling the pains of convoluted justice.
Marissa had been a victim of documented, repeatedabuse. She was battered during the last trimester of her pregnancy, gave birth prematurely9 days prior to her arrest and has not seen her baby sinceFebruary 2011. Shesought counseling prior to this incident in an effort to free herself of this cycle ofabuse which only becomes more intense and dangerous over time without intervention. Marissa hadenough and whenshewalked back into her home withthat gunshe had no intent to kill or maim anyone althoughshe had every opportunity to do so. She had just given birth, was dealing with post partum hormonal issues, feeling the pain of the beating she received just momentsearlierand was in fear of her life, having experienced beatings that required hospitalization at the hands of Mr. Gray.
Prison should bea place forthose who are a menace to society. It is notdesigned for people like Marissa.Justice is not served by locking Marissaaway for 20 years. And she’d have no hope of parole since parole went away in Floridain 1983. Locking her away causes irreparableharm toher children and those she loves and sends a somber message to other victims of domestic violence that may result in serious consequences.
This case has gained the Nation’s attention and rightfully so. Her first husband, Lincoln Bernard,started a petition on her behalf which brought visibility to this case and jump-started the campaign to demand justice for Marissa.Protests are being held, prayers raised, marchesorganized, media venues flooded andthe courtroom filled to capacityto assure Marissa that she does not sitatopher mountainalone.
marissa flyer
 
 

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MARISSA ALEXANDER'S MOUNTAIN

Marissa Alexander is a 31 year old mother of three is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in a Florida prison for discharging her firearm into the ceiling of her home to ward off further abuse at the hands of her husband, Rico Gray. Mr. Gray had just assaulted Marissa and was at her homein violation of an order for protection. Marissa is scheduled for sentencingon Friday, May 11, 2012 at the Duval County Courthouse, Jacksonville, Florida, Judge James Daniel presiding.
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