Monday, May 14, 2012

20 years for domestic dispute

CNN reports:
(CNN) -- Saying he had no discretion under state law, a judge sentenced a Jacksonville, Florida, woman to 20 years in prison Friday for firing a warning shot in an effort to scare off her abusive husband.

Marissa Alexander unsuccessfully tried to use Florida's controversial "stand your ground" law to derail the prosecution, but a jury in March convicted her of aggravated assault after just 12 minutes of deliberation.

The case, which was prosecuted by the same state attorney who is handling the Trayvon Martin case, has gained the attention of civil rights leaders who say the African-American woman was persecuted because of her race.

This is a can of worms. The CNN article is incomplete. There are many things wrong with this case.

Over-prosecution. This is the same prosecutor who charged 2nd degree murder in the Trayvon Martin case, when all the evidence says it was self-defense.

It is dubious whether anything is ever gained by prosecuting domestic violence when no one is hurt.

The wife is probably lying about the abuse, because her lawyer has advised her that is the surest way to make excuses for a wife's bad conduct.

The jury probably did not know about the 20 mandatory sentence. IMO, if a conviction carries a mandatory sentence, then the jury should be told of the sentence.

The prosecutor's excuse: "Corey said she had offered Alexander a plea bargain that would have resulted in a three-year prison sentence, but Alexander chose to take the case to a jury trial"

We are losing our right to a fair trial in thie country, because if you fail to plead guilty, the prosecutor can throw the book at you, making the trial an incredible risk.

I wonder whether the husband made the criminal complaint, and whether they are still married. My guess is that even if they have reconciled, the authorities would be determined to bust up the marriage anyway. Maybe they should have never had kids in the first place, but our society has no way to enforce that. Update: The prosecutor claimed that the shot was not a warning shot. If so, then maybe it was attempted murder, and reckless endangerment of the kids as well.


Retrenched said...

And yet women who actually kill their husbands often don't get anything close to 20 years... figure that one out.

Zorro said...

@Retrenched: Fucking epic!