Broward News

Marissa Alexander Must Be Pardoned By Rick Scott

Florida Senator Dwight Bullard has sent a letter to Gov. Rick Scott, urging him to pardon Marissa Alexander.

Alexander is a 32-year-old African American mother of three who was sentenced to 20 years for firing a gun into the air to ward off her abusive husband.

She tried to use the "stand your ground" law to defend herself. Hell, it worked for George Zimmerman!

But apparently the rules only apply to a dude who attacks and shoots and unarmed teen boy even after the cops ordered that dude to stand down, and does not so much apply to a frightened mother who shot at a wall because she was trying to protect herself and her sons from an admittedly abusive husband who was ordered by a court to stay away from her.

"This is a complete and utter outrage," Senator Bullard stated in his letter. "How can a mother who previously had no criminal record, living in fear for her life, and shooting no one, get a 20-year sentence and the gunman of a 17 year-old child goes completely free!"

The Alexander incident happened in her home back in August of 2010. She and her then-husband, Rico Gray -- who has a documented case of domestic abuse -- got into a heated dispute.

Frightened for her safety, Alexander fired a warning shot into the wall to ward him off.

Alexander then cited "stand your ground," which is probably the first time the law was actually used for what it was intended for -- to use force to protect oneself if a life threatening situation arises.

But then something called the 10-20-Life law derailed her defense and a judge ruled that Alexander was not eligible to use "stand your ground" as a defense because he saw her as the aggressor.

Crazy pills?

Crazy pills.

We're no forensic experts, but we're pretty sure shooting a wall is very much different than shooting a black kid carrying a bag of Skittles and an Arizona ice tea.

Ah but, this is where Rick Scott comes in.

Under current Florida law, the governor's office has the authority to pardon those who have been sentenced in a court of law.

And so Bullard sent the letter asking Scott to do so, because this whole thing is so ridiculous it makes one wonder if this is real life.

But, alas, this is Florida. So, yea.

No word yet from Scott's office, although he's been pretty douchey towards a group of protesters at his office demanding he change the "stand your ground law."

But one can argue that changing the law is a complicated mess where many things need to fall into place.

Not so with the Alexander case.

It's pretty simple.

Pardon Alexander, let her go home, and, at the very least, bring some sanity to a state that has brought some insane shit to the forefront of race relations in this country.

Your call, Rick.

Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph