[Pnews] Urge Florida officials to drop the case against Marissa Alexander!

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Oct 7 10:49:43 EDT 2013


Last week a Florida Appeals Court overturned the guilty verdict against 
Marissa Alexander! The appeals court found extreme errors — the 
instructions to the jury said Marissa had to prove beyond a reasonable 
doubt that she acted in self-defense. This is the exact opposite of the 
legal principle that defendants are presumed innocent until proven 
guilty by the prosecution.
*Free Marissa Now 
<http://RadicalWomen.us6.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=2917cfc9b3941a9932e363014&id=79c2a079b5&e=ba264f2d3f> has 
launched a national campaign to get Florida to drop the case, dismiss 
all charges and release Marissa now. *

What happens next: From now until October 11, Florida Attorney General 
Pam Bondi could ask the Appeals Court to change its decision. This is 
called a rehearing. If Bondi doesn't request a rehearing, the case will 
be returned to Jacksonville.

Beginning on October 11, the ball is in State Prosecutor Angela Corey's 
court to move forward on the case or to drop it. *This is the crucial 
period to get the case dismissed and flood Florida with messages to drop 
the case. *

*Please call, write, fax or email State Prosecutor Angela Corey, State 
Attorney General Pam Bondi, and Florida Governor Rick Scott to demand 
that they drop the case.* Angela Corey is the person who will make the 
decision - but Bondi and Scott should demand that she not pursue the case.

It's time to stop this cruel and unforgivable vendetta against a mother 
of three who did no wrong, but defended her life by taking the only 
action she felt possible. Tell the state to stop using taxpayer money to 
hound and harass a domestic violence survivor. This innocent woman has 
already served several years.

Please take action and start spreading the word!

Angela Corey, State Attorney
Courthouse Annex
220 East Bay Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Phone: 904-630-2400 <tel:904-630-2400>
Fax: 904-630-2938 <tel:904-630-2938>
Email: sao4th at coj.net <mailto:sao4th at coj.net>

Office of Attorney General Pam Bondi
State of Florida
The Capitol PL-01
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050
Phone: 850-414-3300 <tel:850-414-3300> or 850-414-3990 <tel:850-414-3990>
Fax: 850-410-1630 <tel:850-410-1630>
Email: 
http://myfloridalegal.com/contact.nsf/contact?Open&Section=Citizen_Services 
<http://RadicalWomen.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=2917cfc9b3941a9932e363014&id=d3f65d526a&e=ba264f2d3f>

Office of Governor Rick Scott
State of Florida
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
Phone: 850-717-9337 <tel:850-717-9337> or 850-488-7146 <tel:850-488-7146>
Email: rick.scott at eog.myflorida.com <mailto:rick.scott at eog.myflorida.com>


  Court Overturns 20-Year Sentence for Woman Who Fired 'Warning Shots'
  at Husband

Sept. 26, 2013
By SENI TIENABESO <http://abcnews.go.com/author/seni_tienabeso>

A Florida woman who claimed to be a victim of abuse yet was sentenced to 
20 years behind bars for allegedly firing a warning shot during a 
dispute with her husband was granted a new trial Thursday.

The appellate court ruling erased a decision by a jury that took just 12 
minutes to convict Marissa Alexander, a mother of three, of aggravated 
assault.

The conviction of Alexander, who is black, sparked outrage and cries of 
a racial double standard in light of the exoneration of George 
Zimmerman, a white Hispanic, for the death of Trayvon Martin, who was 
black. In particular, outrage aired on social media and among some 
lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Alexander unsuccessfully tried to invoke Florida's "Stand Your Ground" 
law as the same prosecutors who unsuccessfully worked to put Zimmerman 
behind bars told the court that she did not act in self-defense.

In granting the new trial, Judge James H. Daniel also seemed unmoved by 
the Stand Your Ground defense.

"We reject her contention that the trial court erred in declining to 
grant her immunity from prosecution under Florida's Stand Your Ground 
law, but we remand for a new trial because the jury instructions on 
self-defense were erroneous," wrote Daniel.

Alexander testified that, on Aug. 1, 2010, her then-husband, Rico Gray 
Sr., questioned her fidelity and the paternity of her 1-week-old child.

She claimed that he broke through a bathroom door that she had locked 
and grabbed her by the neck. She said she tried to push past him but he 
shoved her into the door, sparking a struggle that felt like an "eternity."

Afterwards, she claimed that she ran to the garage and tried to leave 
but was unable to open the garage door, so she retrieved a gun, which 
she legally owned.

Once inside, she claimed, her husband saw the gun and charged at her "in 
a rage" saying, "Bitch, I'll kill you." She said she raised the gun and 
fired a warning shot into the air because it was the "lesser of two evils."

The jury rejected the self-defense claim and Alexander was sentenced 
under the state's 10-20-life law, sparking outrage over how self-defense 
laws are applied in the state.

A Florida appellate court ruled today that jury instructions, which 
unfairly made Alexander prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that she was 
acting in self-defense, were wrong -- and that there were other 
incorrect instructions that self-defense only applied if the victim 
suffered an injury, which Gray had not.

Today, U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., lashed out at Florida State 
Attorney Angela Corey, who oversaw the failed prosecution of George 
Zimmerman and the prosecution in this case, saying, "Arresting and 
prosecuting her when no one was hurt does not make any sense. ... What 
was certainly absent from the courtroom during Marissa's trial was mercy 
and justice. Indeed, the three-year plea deal from State Attorney Angela 
Corey is not mercy, and a mandatory 20-year sentence is not justice."

Corey's office argued that Alexander, who had not been living in the 
home for two months leading up to the shooting, provoked the incident, 
and that there was no proof the garage door was broken, Alexander's 
rationale for not leaving the altercation. Her office offered her a 
three-year plea deal in the case that was rejected.

Alexander testified about three other alleged incidents of physical 
abuse by her husband, including one that led to his arrest. Several 
witnesses claimed to have seen the injuries she allegedly suffered and 
the final defense witness in the case testified that she met the 
criteria for "battered person's syndrome."

In a statement, prosecutors wrote, "The defendant's conviction was 
reversed on a legal technicality. ... We are gratified that the court 
affirmed the defendant's Stand Your Ground ruling. This means the 
defendant will not have another Stand Your Ground hearing. The case will 
be back in the Circuit Court in the Fourth Judicial Circuit at the 
appropriate time."

-- 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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