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Freedom on the horizon for Marissa Alexander

Cyril Josh Barker | 11/14/2013, 4:23 p.m.

All eyes are back on Florida as the case of Marissa Alexander gets underway. The 32-year-old Black female in Jacksonville, Fla., was sentenced to 20 years in prison after she fired warning shots at her abusive husband and was denied the use of the “Stand Your Ground” law.

On Wednesday, Alexander was in court for a bond hearing where her lawyers requested her release. Critics of Alexander’s case say that she was not treated fairly, comparing the case to that of Trayvon Martin.

George Zimmerman, a white and Hispanic man, shot and killed the unarmed, Black 17-year-old Martin in 2012, claiming Stand Your Ground. Earlier this year, Zimmerman was found not guilty by a mostly white, all-female jury.

Alexander hopes to go home to see her now 3-year-old son during the course of her upcoming trial, which is supposed to begin in March of next year. Her lawyers made their case, citing that Alexander was not a risk or threat to the community.

“We reject her contention that the trial court erred in declining to grant her immunity from prosecution under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law,” wrote Judge James H. Daniel, “but we remand for a new trial because the jury instructions on self-defense were erroneous.”

During the August 2011 incident, Alexander’s lawyers said her ex-husband assaulted her, prompting her to fire her weapon. During the incident, the ex-husband threatened to kill her, saying “B—, I’ll kill you.” Angela Corey, the prosecutor in the Zimmerman case, is also involved in Alexander’s case.

“The appellate court determined that fundamental error was created in Marissa’s trial when Marissa’s jury received erroneous instructions shifting the burden of proof on self-defense to Marissa,” said Alexander’s attorney, Bruce Zimet. “Marissa expressed her gratitude for the decision as well as her continued confidence in the judicial system’s ability to correct mistakes.”

Reports indicate that Alexander was beaten by her husband while she as pregnant. After being beaten, she fired a pistol, and the bullet traveled through a wall and into the ceiling. Her lawyers said firing the weapon saved her life and that she had a gun permit and was properly trained in how to use the weapon.

Supporters of Alexander feel that her charges should be dropped entirely and say that the Stand Your Ground law works different among racial lines. A website, justiceformarissa.blogspot.com, has been set up to help pay for Alexander’s legal defense team.