The world’s mixed reaction to the George Zimmerman not guilty verdict has shone a light on Marrissa Alexander, a Florida mom sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot at her abusive husband, Rico Gray.
During a CNN interview Alexander spoke on the abuse she endured. “He choked me, he pushed me fully into the tub. He pushed me so hard into the closet that I hit my head against the wall and kinda passed out for a second. “
The last offense only garnered Gray a probation charge.
Alexander took matters into her own hands when Gray stormed her home and threatened her life. She believed she was standing her ground, a defense that would later be rejected by the court. Asked if she could’ve tried attempted to go around her husband while he blocked the door she replied, “Yeah, but the law states I don’t have to.”
She fired one shot into the ceiling in hopes to scare Gray. With no criminal record Alexander was charged and convicted (after 12 minutes of deliberation) on three accounts of assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 20 years according to Florida’s “10-20-life” law.
On Wednesday (July 17) the Rev.Jessie Jackson visited Alexander in the Florida jailhouse to discuss further action. Unfortunately, according to prosecutor Angela Corey, her case is in the appeal phase and there is no jurisdiction for it to be reopened .
Jackson also met with Corey, the special prosecutor who brought second-degree murder charges against Zimmerman, to discuss discrepancies in both cases and crack down on Florida’s gun laws. Additionally, the NAACP, Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the National Action Network are rallying to influence Florida Governor Rick Scott to pardon Alexander.
**Additional reporting by Kristen Gray