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Florida woman Marissa Alexander gets 20 year jail sentence for firing gun
An aggravated assault charge for firing a gun to scare off her husband has resulted in a 20 year jail sentence for a Black woman in Florida. You might feel inclined to ask what her being Black has to do with anything, but there are some who believe the woman received the 20 year sentence because of her race. Given that she did not actually harm anyone when she fired the gun the 20 year jail sentence has seemed to many as being extreme and the only conclusion they can draw is that her skin color influenced the judge and jury’s decisions to her detriment.
The woman has maintained that she fired the gun because her husband threatened to kill her and had every intention of doing so, and she was exercising her right to defend herself under Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law. She has said in court that had she not fired the gun to protect herself, she would not be alive to be on trial in the first place; but no one was convinced by her story. It apparently took a jury only 12 minutes to convict her back in March.
The judge who gave her 20 years today has insisted he had no other alternative. Seems there’s a law called the 10-20-life law in Florida that sets the minimum and maximum sentence for an aggravated assault conviction where a firearm has been discharged at 20 years. Even if he had felt any compunction to show her mercy there was nothing he could have done. His hands were tied because of the 10-20-life law.
At the end of the day, Marissa Alexander put herself in this situation; but 20 years for shooting a gun? Some people commit actual murder and get fewer years.