Stand Your Ground
April 25, 2012 § 8 Comments
I recently read this article on CNN about Marissa Alexander who is currently sentenced to 20 years of jail because she fired a shot in the air to scare off her abusive husband. She was unable to appeal for the “stand your ground” law which allows for an individual to use force as means for self defense when there is a reasonable threat without obligation to retreat first. Her husband, Rico Gray found that she was texting her ex-husband and threatened to kill her so she hid in the garage and found a pistol and without aiming it to him, she fired it in the air to scare him off. In his testimony, he did have a past record off domestic violence and he admitted to laying hands on five other women previously. However, Marissa was convicted guilty for 20 years in jail within 12 minutes of trial. In her interview, Marissa asked, “Other defendants have used it. What’s so different about my situation that it doesn’t apply to me?”.
The article states that the reason being may be due to race. The President of the Jacksonville NAACP believes that there is a “double standard” when it comes to cases of violence when it comes to African American and White cases. It appalls me that this woman who fired a shot at nobody was sentenced to 20 years of jail and could not repeal for the “stand your ground” law because of her race. All she was doing was trying to defend herself against a man who was 100 pounds heavier than she was. It also shocks me that she was deemed guilty in 12 minutes which did not give her a fair chance to present her case. This blatant racial discrimination in the justice system is shocking and saddening that it does not protect domestically abused women of a certain race. There needs to be more laws put in place to protect minority women who suffer from domestic violence.