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Marissa Alexander, 32, is an African American mother of three who was sentenced to a mandatory 20 years in a Florida prison for firing a warning shot into the ceiling of her home in 2010 to end a violent argument with her abusive husband. Marissa was convicted by a jury of 6 on 3 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Marissa Alexander did not have a criminal record before this incident.
Marissa's husband has a documented history of violence and domestic abuse toward women. In a rage, Marissa's husband violently confronted her in her home. She was assaulted, shoved, strangled and held against her will. She was prevented from escaping and was not able to get to her cell phone to call 911. At the time, Marissa had a valid injunction for protection from violence against her husband. He had previously attacked so viciously she required hospitalization.
Her husband was asked to leave repeatedly, but he did not. He entered the kitchen wich leads to the garage and saw that Marissa was unable to leave via the malfunctioning garage door. Marissa retrieved her licensed and registered gun - for which she had a concealed weapons permit - from her vehicle. She held the weapon in her right hand down by her side as he yelled, "Bitch I Will Kill You! And charged toward her. In fear and desperation, Marissa Alexander lifted her weapon, turned away and discharged a single shot in the ceiling. As she stood her ground – that single shot prevented him from doing that which he had threatened. He ran out of the house, contacted police, and falsely reported that Marissa Alexander shot at him and his 2 sons. The police took Marissa Alexander into custody.
The state of Florida has a self-defense law which includes the right to Stand Your Ground. Marissa Alexander did not receive immunity under this law.
In a sworn statement, Alexander's husband admitted that he was the agressor, threatened her life and was so enraged that he did not know what he would do.
Marissa's sentence is unduly harsh and unjust. She has three young children that need her. She has already served three years in a Florida prison. She is not eligible for parole.
Please tell Florida Governor Rick Scott that this injustice needs to be addressed. Marissa Alexander should be set free.
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