WTF Is Going on in Florida & Why Is Marissa Alexander STILL in Prison?
Last June, I ran across this headline and story by Katie Halper with AlterNet.
Black Woman Gets 20 Years for Firing Shot at Wall:
White Man Gets 20 Years for Shooting Man in the Back 3 Times, Killing Him
I decided to research and was shocked with what I found:
Here’s how the Stand Your Ground Laws and general laws in Florida are working out:
*If you’re a white man, and you kill a teenager you suspect is a criminal, you can go free.
*If you’re a white man, and kill a man you catch cheating with your wife, you can go free.
*If you violently abuse your wife and have a record of domestic abuse, you can go free.
*But if you’re a young black woman, and you fire a warning shot to scare off a physically abusive husband who’s aggressively coming at you, after saying, “If I can’t have you, no one will,” then you get to go to prison for 20 years. If you had killed him instead - you would have gone free.
There are so many things wrong here I’m not sure where to begin, but racism, sexism, and bigotry jump right to the top of the list. And I think it’s fair to say, given these examples, the laws work for some, but not others…
On July 13, 2013, George Zimmerman received a not guilty verdict for the murder of Trayvon Martin. In February 2012, while playing ‘cop’ as a neighborhood watch captain, Zimmerman stalked Martin, got into a physical altercation with the teenager, and shot Martin dead. George Zimmerman walked out of the Florida courtroom a free man. One of the jurors later came forward, and said she felt like Zimmerman got away with murder.
On March 10 2013, Ralph Wald, 70, got up in the middle of the night, saw his wife Johanna Lynn Flores, 41, in the living room, in the arms of his neighbor, Walter Conley, 32. Wald grabbed his gun and shot Conley in the back, three times, killing him. Ward later claimed he thought Conley, (a known lover of his wife) was raping her. He used the Stand Your Ground law to bypass justice. Then, only months later, 0n May 30, Ralph Wald walked out of court a free man.
On August 10, 2013, Rico Gray threatened the life of his wife, Marissa Alexander. He has a record of beating her and putting her in the hospital. There are many court statements against Gray describing his abuse. His former spouse made a statement that Gray kicked her in the stomach when she was pregnant. Marissa fired a warning shot this time after fearing for her life. Gray admitted Marissa did not fire at him and that he intended to hurt her. He walked out of court a free man.