She was serving 20 years in prison. She now has a second chance and a new trial... but is now facing 60 years!
The terminally fucked-up state of Florida has been made ever the more notorious over the last few years over a few very high-profile trial cases - all involving guns, a "Stand Your Ground" defense, a disgraceful prosecutor, and tragedy befalling Black protagonists.
Here is a primer regarding one particular case: a Jacksonville woman/mother of three named Marrisa Alexander had been battered by her estranged husband, Rico Gray. Gray is an admitted wife-beater and woman-abuser and admitted in court documents to having assaulted Alexander while she was pregnant. On August 1st 2010 the two had gotten into a heated argument at their home during which Gray threatened Alexander's life. The victim has just given birth a few days earlier. At some point, Alexander barricaded herself in the bathroom. Gray broke the door down and chased her throughout the house, threatening to kill her. She ran into the garage, grabbed a semi-automatic pistol - legally registered to her - and fired a warning shot above his head, into a ceiling. Two of their young children were present in the home at the time, though were never in danger - except possibly from an enraged Gray.
Protected: ADMITTED violent wife-beater Rico Gray, seen here.
Unlike in certain other infamous cases in FL, the person with a gun here actually did have a genuine fear for her life being in danger. Yet, in this case no one ended up dead, nor injured. After the incident in Aug. 2010 Alexander was arrested immediately. FL state attorney Angela Corey offered Alexander a "plea-deal" of 3 years in prison... three years in PRISON for having the nerve to not allow her violent husband to beat her to death in front of their children. Alexander turned down this no-deal and went to trial.
In May 2012 Alexander was unjustly convicted of three bogus counts of aggravated assault. The mother of three/domestic violence victim was sentenced to 20 years in prison under FL's 10-20-Life law.
Many activists recognized this as a horrific miscarriage of justice. Alexander's case however, was high-lighted ever more so by the fact that within the same state, the murder of Trayvon Martin had just occurred earlier in February 2012. Martin's killer, the cowardly sub-human beast George Zimmerman had been aquitted of second degree murder in July 2013. For anyone who had paid even cursory attention to both cases, some scary similarities and stark double-standards had become undeniable.
Probably the single scariest connection between Alexander's trial and that of Zimmerman, was that FL state attorney Angela Corey was the prosecutor in both. When Corey was first appointed to the Martin/Zimmerman case in March 2012, it was a glaring and worrisome red flag to anyone who had been familiar with Marrisa Alexander's plight. Corey had aggresively prosecuted Alexander to the point of zealous obsession. However, she completely dropped the ball in prosecuting Zimmerman - a clear and obvious murderer, as well as hibitual LIAR and coward. After Zimmerman's trial, Corey gave a blithering joke of a press conference, inwhich the embattled state attorney prattled on about what a "stand-up" job she had done.
After an overturned conviction, over-whelming national protests, and a state ethics complaint against Corey, Marrisa Alexander, now 33, was granted bail in November 2013. She has also been given a new trial date set for July 2014. Corey has once again been appointed to prosecute Alexander and this time, the low-life state attorney is trying to condemn her to 60 YEARS in prison!
The issue here is this:
Each of the three aggravated assault charges for which Alexander was convicted is worth 20 years apiece. However, when Alexander was originally convicted, she was to serve all three sentences CONCURRENTLY. An appeals court has since thrown out her conviction. The reason for this was that during the original trial, Judge James Daniel incorrectly shifted the burden to Alexander, stating that she had to prove that she acted in self-defense. This was in contrast to Judge Daniel's instructions to the jury that Alexander prove her husband was abusive towards her. In effect, Rico Gray was as much on trial too, but all of the burden (and guilt) unfairly fell upon Alexander. A new trial has been set for July 2014, but a second conviction on the same three charges would have her serving sentences CONSECUTIVELY.