Marissa Alexander Is About to Get Screwed by Florida's Ridiculous Gun Laws

Marissa Alexander
Marissa Alexander, the Florida woman who was arrested for firing a warning shot to ward off her abusive estranged husband, may now be looking at 60 years in prison because of a weird law that would add 20 years to each charge.

The Florida Times-Union is reporting that the Office of State Attorney Angela Corey will try to put Alexander in prison for what amounts to life.

Why? Because this is Florida, where it's totally cool to shoot and kill an unarmed black kid walking around with a bag of Skittles.

But totally NOT cool to fire a warning shot, harming no one, so that you don't get beat up by a serial domestic abuser. THAT'S WHERE WE DRAW THE LINE DOWN HERE.

See also: Florida Legislator Wants People to Be Allowed to Fire Warning Shots

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!

Her conviction was thrown out by an appeals court and a new trial is scheduled for July.

But now, if she's convicted again, the original 20-year sentence could be tripled.

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.

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

So, evidently those defense rules apply only to a dude who attacks and shoots an 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.

And so, as Alexander waits to see if she's going to get screwed by Florida's assbackward gun laws, the 2014 legislative session will be revisiting Stand Your Ground and other gun legislation.

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My Voice Nation Help

She went to the garage, could not get out, got the gun to protect herself.   Those are the facts.    Those who choose to say otherwise, go send George some more money, I think he's running low and we wouldn't want him to have to work for a living.


She left the house. Was not in harms way or having to defend herself. Took the gun and went in to shoot him out of anger. Attempted murder. You can't claim self defense or stand yourt ground when you are the aggressor. And stop being racist. Sick of that as a cop out to avoid facts.


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

Frightened for her safety, AFTER she departed his presence in complete safety, went to the garage and retrieved a gun from her car, and returned again TO his presence to fire the "warning shot"?

While I think the sentence was ridiculous and an unintended consequence of the reactionary "10-20-life" law, the author's assertion and complete distortion of facts undermines his credibility entirely.

And that doesn't even take into account his fatuous evaluation of the justified shooting of Trayvon "Criminal-In-Training" Martin.


Fredd is the only one here who knows the facts.  It is uncontroverted that she left the house, went into the garage and got a gun out of her car, went back into the house, and fired at the guy, who was sitting on the couch.  The bullet left a hole in the wall behind him.  She later got arrested for attacking him, again.  One reason all the whining about Stand Your Ground won't accomplish anything is because the whiners are ignorant or lying about the facts of these cases.

Jeremy Jensen
Jeremy Jensen

Really.. this is the worst article I've read from New Times. I think you are very misinformed and hope people don't think this has any facts in it. 1 stand your ground do not work when you leave the attacker to retrieve a gun than go back. 2 you can't compare a thug who picked a fight with the wrong Spanish man to this case at all as well. Zimmerman didn't go back to his car after getting punched to get his gun and go back after the thug. Please start doing factional reporting. Just read both court cases and you'll see the difference. As for the first time stand your ground would have been used right. Again you are wrong. Stand your ground has been used properly in at least 100 cases. And guess what the law that freed Zimmermann was written in the 1960's not the stand your ground law.


"Stand Your Ground Hopeless Defense for Blacks Like Michael Giles," a must hear podcast. This show clearly spoke to the Marissa Alexander's of Florida as well. There is one other thing that is becoming clear too, and that is the Stand Your Ground/ Self Defense law is the new LYNCHING for Blacks in Florida. If you kill a Black person such as Trayvon Martin or Jordan Davis for absolutely nothing the law protects you. However, if you fire a warning shot to protect yourself as in the case of Marissa Alexander or Michael Giles Florida's SYG/ Self Defense law works against you...smh. Florida's judicial system has gotta do better before they set off another Rodney King situation.



the problem with HER case, is she left the house -fled the threat, 

THEN returned from her car WITH A GUN.

so she was in a safe place outside the house, then returned into harms way, and fired the gun.

she went an got a weapon.  -when she could have called a cop, or just left.  

- if she was in a locked bedroom with no escape, totally different case. 

its the details that you have changed to support your case, and that is just wrong.

Why are you flat out lying?  Why?


you can't make up your own facts. but can have your own opinion.

Anthony Djuren
Anthony Djuren

Once again.....the willful ignoring of the facts of this case are nauseating. New Times, you're better than this. I think.


Aside from your grammatical errors, your account of the facts is inaccurate. Marissa's case and cases like hers are the very reason that we have a stand your ground law in Florida. In any other state, she would have been required to leave her house if in fear for her life. Castle doctrine, the common law claimed n by other states, would not have applied here because of this cases domestic nature. Because stand your ground is an immunity measure, NOT a defense as you and so many other in the media keep reporting, it. Unfortunately, her immunity was incorrectly waived and our blood thirsty prosecutor seized the opportunity to throw the book at her using the 'zero-tolerance for guns' law, 10-20-life. You see, anti gun groups don't seem to see that they can't have it both ways, punishing anyone who is found guilty using a gun to the maximum and full extent and then crying foul when those same laws are applied to a case they find sympathetic.

And for the record, the only group that has steadfastly supported Ms. Alexander from day one has been the pro-gun lobby.

Also for the record, stand your ground was not used nor was it applicable to George Zimmerman, who was on his back. Here's a great article explaining the real intent and application of the law with unbiased statistical regression. Unfortunately, it's a much drier read than all those other media outlets and blog posts who claim it as racist, but I hope you and your readers will be open minded enough to give it your time.


@AliasMe She claimed the garage door wouldn't open even though she had just parked the car in the garage.  And the judge noted if she really was in fear for her life, instead of retrieving her gun to shoot him, she could have left the house via the front or back door.  She didn't get the gun to protect herself. She got it to shoot a guy sitting on a couch.


@centerstageradio  We understand, you dont like it when your thuggsta gang banger wannabes get shot for committing felony aggravated assault upon another for no legal reason, so sad you are such a racist!

The Tampa Bay Times has been assembling the details of all shooting cases that involved SYG since the law was inacted. Some are fatalities, some are only woundings. The web site is interactive so you can set it to show whatever detail that you want to, including details of individual cases. Most shooting are between people of the same race. Setting the filter for black on white shootings, adding fatalities and woundings for total shootings we find:  

Black on White - 4 convicted, 12 justified, 4 pending  

White on Black - 3 convicted, 14 justified, 5 pending  

Total of all SYG claims:  

59 convicted, 143 justified, 35 pending  

So SYG isn't used that often, is not a shoot anybody for free card, and is not for-Whites-only

This is the reality pathological liars like this article writer refuse to admit.

1) Stand Your Ground laws do NOT change the criteria of what a legal, defense with lethal force is. Doesn't matter how many times you spin and lie that it does, IT DOES NOT, EVER!

2) MURDER IS STILL ILLEGAL. Doesn't matter how many times you spin and lie that SYG makes murder legal, IT DOES NOT, EVER!

3) Justifiable homicide has NEVER BEEN ILLEGAL. Doesn't matter how many times you spin and lie that Justifiable Homicide is illegal, IT IS NOT ILLEGAL, EVER!

4) What SYG does do is force the DA to adhere to a consistent set of standards on what is a prosecutable offense, instead of the standard practice of throwing a bunch of charges against the wall and see which one sticks that prosecutors do oh so often. Darn its just horrible forcing the DA to do their job of identifying which cases have prosecutable merit, a task they were and are responsible to do BEFORE any SYG law was implemented.

5) Prosecuting attorneys don't want to lose a case, its bad for re-elections, so why should the criteria for a justifiable homicide be decided on personal whim and predjudices?

6) Still waiting for anyone of you antis to show where the founding fathers identified that one has the duty to retreat in the US Consitituion and BOR, especially outside ones own home!

7) Still waiting on anyone of you antis to show how the attacker has more rights than their intended victim!

8) Still waiitng for you anti gun nuts to prove the thuggstas never sue their intended victims...which is the main reason the SYG came to be...but facts are lost on ignorant imbeciles we know!

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