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Marissa Alexander released on bond, still faces trial

Cyril Josh Barker | 12/5/2013, 2:14 p.m.
Marissa Alexander

While Floridian mother Marissa Alexander is free on bail, she still has charges against her and must face trial.

In a small victory for the mother, who was originally sentenced for shooting a warning shot at her estranged husband in 2010, a judge released Alexander on bail after she had spent three years in prison. She was able to spend the Thanksgiving holiday at home.

In a statement from the Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign, Alexander was released on bond until a verdict is reached in her new trial, which begins March 31, 2014. She is able to spend the upcoming holiday season with her 3-year-old son.

We are thrilled that Ms. Alexander will be able to prepare for her new trial amid the support and love of her children and family from whom she has been separated far too long,” the group said in the statement. “We hope the decision means that the Florida justice system has relented in its vindictive, hostile and racist legal assault on this African-American mother of three.”

The campaign added that Alexander has been victimized twice—once by her abusive ex-husband and again by the state of Florida, which has stolen nearly three years from her life for an act of self-defense that injured no one.

The Marissa Alexander Freedom Fund campaign has been started to raise funds that it hopes will amount to $20,000 by the end of the year to help pay for legal costs of the new trial. Donors can give at tiny.cc/freedomfundraiser.

The case has raised eyebrows and has been compared to the George Zimmerman trial. Zimmerman, who is white and Latino, is best known for being acquitted for killing unarmed Black 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Documented information reveals that Black women and other marginalized people are likely to be criminalized, prosecuted and incarcerated while trying to navigate and survive the conditions of violence in their lives. This is especially true for Black women who are subjected to racist stereotypes that paint them as overly aggressive.