Thursday, September 26, 2013

Marissa Alexander Gets a New Trial

Marissa Alexander, a Florida woman who was sentenced to an unnerving 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot that didn't hurt anyone, will get a new trial.

Alexander's story came to national attention on the heels of the George Zimmerman trial.  And like the Zimmerman Trial, Alexander's story sparked national outcry over the questionable "stand your ground."  But where Zimmerman was found not guilty after taking the life of Trayvon Martin, Alexander was found guilty; even after claiming her husband chased her, beat her, and threatened her life.

But now she will have her case reheard. 

From Slate:
Judge James H. Daniel ordered a retrial, arguing that Alexander had been held to too high a standard to prove self-defense. "The defendant’s burden is only to raise a reasonable doubt concerning self-defense," he wrote, which is incidentally how the jury ruled in the Zimmerman case. "The defendant does not have the burden to prove the victim guilty of the aggression defended against beyond a reasonable doubt." Unlike in the Zimmerman case, where the victim was dead and unable to testify, Alexander's version of events will have to go up against her husband's. We'll soon find out if that will make things harder for her than it was for Zimmerman in establishing reasonable doubt

So there you go.  For many of use who felt that justice wasn't blind but acutely aware of the race of the defendant, this is good news.  It doesn't mean Alexander is out of the woods, but anything must be better than 20 years in prison for protecting yourself; especially when you read newspaper clippings like this.

Any thoughts?
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