This next story that came across my desk this morning screamed for my attention and got shuffled right to the front of the day’s agenda in order of importance for a whole lot of people. I wouldn’t exactly call it a comeback, because the victim by which this case is compared didn’t come back, unfortunately (R.I.P Trayvon Martin). But this is a victory (of sorts). In lieu of what a great majority of the world went through this past July , with the outcome of the Zimmerman/Martin trial where Zimmerman was acquitted of manslaughter in the [February 2012] murder of young Trayvon Martin (under the grounds of the Florida Self-Defense Law); there was another story a-brewing in the same state, round yonder. In May 2012, a young black woman by the name of Marissa Alexander, mother of 3, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for a “warning shot” fired at her abusive husband for [which she figured she would be protected?] under the state’s “Stand Your Ground Law.” No fatalities occurred in that incident, however.
Before I continue, let me interrupt you for a second:
As Write Head here at Other Side of the Fame, although my intent is to open my blog site as the first blogging mecca for others to get the stories of their choice out to the world, as a writer and journalism major, my individual job and personal responsibility here (where and when I can) is to do more that just grab a story, report it by running you a few warmed over lines, and sticking some pics in between to entertain you (and waste your time). I really write a story-yes, to entertain you but too, in the interim, to inform you by giving you something to consider, ponder, think about, feel, reconsider (or better understand).
Having said that, just so we’re clear here let me explain something (that even in July 2013) wasn’t made very clear to us all, as (rightfully so), our focus and concern was of the [mis]understanding that Zimmerman was acquitted under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. So the community, and celebrities alike, we went after it (so that another unfortunate tragedy does not happen to the next person who feels it to take the law and a life into their own hands won’t get off so easily). With regard to the Marissa Alexander case, I do not have the actual court documents in my possession, but I’m guessing our misunderstanding about these two Florida State laws: the traditional self-defense law, and the later implemented [in 2005] “Stand Your Ground” law, had us out here comparing the outcome of the Zimmerman murder trial, with the disparity and no mercy shown for a woman who merely shot a warning shot but got sentenced 20 years for it. The “Stand Your Ground” clause that was implemented into Florida’s self-defense law in 2005 was set to protect people who are forced to use deadly force to defend themselves from serious injury (rather than running or avoiding conflict or confrontation altogether). If it is found that they literally “stood their ground” (to protect themselves from harm) they indeed can be immune from prosecution should a fatality occur (or not), just the same.
Actually, Zimmerman did not seek immunity under the “Stand Your Ground” clause instead, he opted for the standard: the traditional old self-defense law.
In the case of Marissa Alexander, her claim under “Stand Your Law” was rejected because she didn’t actually shoot the shot during the confrontation; she shot the warning shot after physically taking her body out to her car and returned to shoot the warning shot (which was near her husband, Rico Gray)’s head. So if you consider that scenario in comparison to the same scenario as Zimmerman leaving the confrontation then going out to his car to retrieve the gun, you can clearly see why the discrepancy (or disparity) was such, right?
The only difference was in the traditional (self defense) law versus the newly implemented (“Stand Your Ground”) clause. Had Marissa Alexander opted for the traditional self defense law versus the newly implemented “Stand Your Ground” law, she probably would have not served the one year and six month’s prison term she served as a result, and probably would have had a better argument in fighting her case.
But like Zimmerman, nonetheless, she fired the gun during an assault in which his resulted in a fatality and hers did not. But the bottom line here is: both went to their vehicles to retrieve guns as methods of “self-defense.” Zimmerman’s victim was an unarmed teenager who initially, Zimmerman overzealously confronted which resulted in an altercation. After which, Zimmerman went out to his car to retrieve the weapon and came back to “defend himself.”
To put it bluntly, and to give you a cut and dry better visual, the difference in ONE move can make or break your defense. Like for instance, that woman being held at gunpoint, being raped, who asks if she could remove a tampon could change the dynamics of her case drastically: having gone from a rape, to consensual sex that quickly even with a gun to her head, should the right attorney argue well enough that she may have been into that risky kind of kinky thing. Yeah. And don’t let him be able to have snagged some hunky ex from your past to confirm that you do like those kinds of things-it’s as good as consensual (with the right defense attorney).
Alexander, who stands 5.2” and who, at the time of the 2010 incident; had an active restraining order out on her 245-pound abusive husband and as well; had a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Although the heartbreaking news of the Martin case served no comfort to his parents and for many of us around the world, it was that very similar case that put the spotlight on this woman’s case that otherwise (probably) would have continued to go ignored. This bittersweet moment warranted Alexander a release from serving the one year, six month prison sentence while she awaits a retrial under the (now) controversial, traditional self-defense law.
The trial is set to begin in March 2014. March is the actual “New Year”/Spring Solstice=New beginnings in all things as the actual new season begins. Hopefully, this lady gets her new beginning, officially.
We’ll keep your posted.