Justice for Marissa Alexander

Justice for Marrisa Alexander

Marissa Alexander

Consider this: In the state of Florida, a young woman who “stood her ground” was sentenced to 20 years in prison last year for firing warning shots into the ceiling to ward off her abusive husband whom she had previously filed an order of protection against. The young woman in question, a mother of three named Marissa Alexander, had no criminal record.

She is an African American – but I’m sure that that’s just a coincidence. I’m just kidding. That was no coincidence; in fact the jaw-dropping harshness of her punishment was almost inevitable.

Do you believe for an instant that had she been an upper middle class white woman she would have received the same treatment? Are you naive enough to swallow the notion that had she been the daughter of former governor, Jeb Bush (who has a criminal record, by the way), she would be looking at a 20-year stretch? If that is the case, go back to sleep. I’m attempting a serious discussion here.

First and foremost: Screw Florida. There ought to be a nationwide tourism boycott of what must be the most overrated peninsula on this planet. You want to take your kids to a nice spot for a vacation? Try a mountain lake resort or a national park. To hell with Disney World.

Florida is a sick joke. I spent enough time there in the eighties – lived there on and off for a spell – that I am able to speak with some authority on the subject. When I arrived there in the late winter of 1984, I set up headquarters in Naples, which overlooks the Gulf of Mexico. You wanna talk about humid? The summer of 1986 was particularly brutal. I never dreamed it could get that hot. In fact it’s too damned hot for some people to think rationally. That’s becoming more and more apparent these days, isn’t it? George Zimmerman is a free man. Marissa Alexander languishes in a prison cell. Do they even have air-conditioning in those jury rooms? You gotta wonder.

At the time I lived there (or so it was told to me by the gloating locals), Naples had the highest rate of millionaires per capita than any other town in America. For the first four months of occupation I did not see one black person. It was only after I had hauled across Alligator Alley into Fort Lauderdale to see my friend, Paul Scesa, that I finally encountered one – a woman behind the counter of a deli who sold me a six-pack of Budweiser. I remember staring at her for a few seconds in utter disbelief. I felt like a bird watcher who had just come across a passenger pigeon. You want to check out a REALLY Jim Crow town? Take a little trip to Naples sometime.

YO, FELLOW HONKIES! Let’s stop kidding ourselves, alright? We may not admit as much out loud, but we all know damned well that there are two different standards of justice here in Bonkers Land: one for them and one for us. Enough with the self-deception, alright?

marissa alexanderIt has been suggested to me that had Marissa just shot her husband dead, a justifiable argument for the Stand Your Ground defense could have been made and she, like Georgie Boy Zimmerman, would be walking free as a bird today. It’s interesting to note that the two people who have made this suggestion to me (posted on my Facebook page) are both white men. Let’s get real here, guys. If Marissa Alexander had shot and killed her husband she would be rotting on Death Row at this very moment. Get a grip.

Marissa was convicted of attempted murder. Why the hell is that? She didn’t “attempt” to murder anyone. She fired at the ceiling inside of her home. Her husband has a history of violence – and he was in a rage when he found the record of a call from her ex-husband on her cell phone. If Stand Your Ground can apply to a twit with an action-figure-complex like George Zimmerman who (lest we forget) shot and killed an unarmed, seventeen-year-old boy, why does it not apply to Marissa Alexander? Would somebody please explain to me what is wrong with this picture? Anybody? The judge who sent Marissa to prison is named James Daniel. One wonders if he has read that little blurb in the Constitution about “cruel and unusual punishment”.

Or maybe Stand Your Ground only applies to non-black males. Never mind.

Am I “fanning the flames” here? You bet I am, Buster! A good-sized fire is capable of lighting even the darkest American night. Inside the courtroom when Marissa was sentenced on May 12, 2012, was her eleven-year-old daughter. “I really was crying in there”, she told a reporter from WETV, “I didn’t want to cry in court, but I just really feel hurt. I don’t think this should have been happening.”

An understatement if ever there was one. I’ve got a funny feeling that this poor kid is going to grow into maturity with not much faith in the system of justice they’ve got down there in Florida. Can you blame her?

And don’t hold your breath waiting for a little compassion from über aryan, Rick Scott. Poor old Rick is a bit of a sociopath – a fact that is revealed in every one of his public deeds. I’m sure that Rick has a list of a few (or more) of his white-collar-colleagues that he plans on pardoning before his term of office is complete. Marissa Alexander’s name is not on that list. Call it a silly hunch on my part. Compassion is not his schtick.

tom deganNow would be a pretty good time for all of us to get mobilized on Marissa’s behalf. She’s already been in prison for over a year. Even a sentence that long should be deemed unreasonable. Her’s was not a victimless crime. She is the victim. In case it’s escaped your notice, these are not the greatest of times for women in this country. Double Trouble if you happen to have been born an African American woman. What has been done to Marissa Alexander should send thinking people everywhere into a blind rage. If the governor of Florida refuses to grant her a full and unconditional pardon (as I said, don’t hold your breath) then the president of the United States should do it. This just isn’t right.

Tom Degan
The Rant

Saturday, 20 July 2013

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Comments

  1. PoFoke says

    I have sympathy for this lady and do feel that she should not be in jail. That being said, all over facebook they are comparing this case to the Zimmerman trial. This case is no comparison to the Zimmerman trial except that they were both possibly over charged.

    Marissa was charged and found guilty of Aggravated Assault (with a gun). The “with a gun” in Florida brings about harsher sentences than assault without a gun. (Aggravated Assault may not be the actual name of the charge).

    The SYG was denied because she left the house, upon which time she had the opportunity to leave, go to a neighbor and call 911. Instead she went to the garage and came back with a gun. She fired her “warning shot” head high to the slime ball and into the wall where two children were in the other room behind the wall. I am surprised they didn’t charge her with endangering a child with a gun.

    The slime ball ex claims he begged for his life. I seriously doubt that, but I do believe that he ran when she ‘missed’.

    I personally feel Ms Alexander should be released on time served but according to FL law, she must serve a minimum sentence. I am not sure if the 20 years is minimum. I think it is 10, not sure. I wish her luck in appeals.

    • Rick says

      Thanks for sharing the details of the case that are so often overlooked on these online “rants.” Everyone talks about the sentence, the judge, the difference in race, but the circumstances surrounding her opportunity to exit, call 911… and instead choosing to go get a gun, return to the house (not her residence), and shoot at the man’s head (as the bullet hole in the wall, not the ceiling, proves) is what earned her the conviction. He had not touched her in that argument nor threatened her physically that day (though he may have previously) so for her to return to the house with a gun and shoot AT THE MAN’S HEAD was at the very least an attempt at murder without any sort of Stand Your Ground defense. She deserves some jail time, but I don’t know that a minimum 20-year sentence was warranted. She should at least have a sentence where she would be eligible for parole after a few years. But it may be that Florida’s sentencing laws are overly severe and there may not have been a choice.

      • PoFoke says

        I’ve been further researching this case and have come to the conclusion that Ms Alexander should be committed for mental evaluation. When she was out on bond for this crime, she violated her bond and went BACK over to Rico’s house and committed another count of assault after he refused to allow her to stay at his house.

        I still think the dude is a slime ball because he admitted to putting his hands on all but one of his ladies. But as bad as this sounds, she very well might have asked for much of what she got from him.

        From all of the lies and thoery in this article, it is evident that Tom Degan gets his facts from places like The Huffington Post, Media Matters, etc.. The rest he just makes up.

  2. E Elder says

    I live in Florida and it isn’t like the person above says. For instance, there are many, many black people in St. Petersburg and have been here for a very long time. Naples, by the way, doesn’t have the most millionaires per capita in America, California does. AND everything here is air conditioned since this area is sub tropical. You should go to parts of North Africa and there is the same weather. Hawaii is also extremely humid. We love it here in Florida and I have lived in many countried and travelled to 42 states. Lived in California, San Diego, and San Francisco for many years. Get a life and don’t knock what you don’t know.

    • Morgan Wright says

      Hmm….not any mention of the circumstances of Marissa Alexander but plenty about the weather. Very telling…..

  3. E Elder says

    I live in Florida and it isn’t like the person above says. For instance, there are many, many black people in St. Petersburg and have been here for a very long time. Naples, by the way, doesn’t have the most millionaires per capita in America, California does. AND everything here is air conditioned since this area is sub tropical. You should go to parts of North Africa and there is the same weather. Hawaii is also extremely humid. We love it here in Florida and I have lived in many countried and travelled to 42 states. Lived in California, San Diego, and San Francisco for many years. Get a life and don’t knock what you don’t know.

    • E Elder says

      NO, we are not!!! Only a few are like that and we call them Republicans. It is unfortunate you lump the outcome of the Zimmerman trial to all Floridians when that is NOT the case. We are angry too that he wasn’t punished for what he did.

    • E Elder says

      NO, we are not!!! Only a few are like that and we call them Republicans. It is unfortunate you lump the outcome of the Zimmerman trial to all Floridians when that is NOT the case. We are angry too that he wasn’t punished for what he did.

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