Florida lady jailed for banishment ‘warning shot’ during father to appeal

Wed May 30, 2012 8:57pm EDT

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (Reuters) – A New York profession obvious for representing smashed women in carnage cases is now authorised warn for a Jacksonville lady portion a 20-year judgment for banishment a gun in a instruction of her husband.

Marissa Alexander, 31, pronounced she dismissed a “warning shot” into a wall after being threatened by her father in an occurrence in 2010, though prosecutors trust a bullet involved him and his dual children.

Michael Dowd, a counsel who has been representing domestic attack victims given a 1970s, told Reuters he skeleton to interest Alexander’s conviction.

“When we saw a contribution of this case, they seemed to be as bad as I’d ever seen,” Dowd said. “The complement unequivocally doesn’t do a good pursuit of safeguarding smashed women, and when they do anything to strengthen themselves, it turns on them with a ferocity that is occasionally seen if, in a reverse, a lady had been killed.”

In a high-profile box in October, Dowd won an exculpation on murder charges in New York for Barbara Sheehan, a domestic attack plant who killed her father by banishment 11 shots with dual guns. She was found guilty of a weapons assign and condemned to 5 years in prison.

Alexander, a somewhat built lady who stands 5-foot-2, pronounced her 245-pound (111 kg) husband, Rico Gray, was relocating toward her threateningly when she dismissed into a kitchen wall. He had formerly been convicted on a domestic attack assign for aggressive her.

Gray’s dual children were during home, in a vital room. Prosecutors purported that a shot involved Gray and a children.

Prosecutors offering Alexander a defence agreement that enclosed a three-year jail term, though she incited it down. A jury took only 12 mins to find her guilty of 3 depends of aggravated attack with a lethal weapon.

Because Alexander dismissed a gun in a incident, Florida’s “10-20-Life” mandatory-minimum sentencing discipline compulsory a decider to judgment her to 20 years in prison.

Dowd suggested on Tuesday that Alexander should not have been charged with felonies.

“This is a woman, underneath a circumstances, who was overcharged,” he said. “She could have even been charged with a misconduct — wrong liberate of a gun.”

He combined that a Alexander box “sends a horrific summary to victims of domestic violence.”

Dowd has a prolonged story of operative opposite domestic violence. In 1991, he assimilated a New York State Office for a Prevention of Domestic Violence. He also was a first executive of a Battered Women’s Justice Center during Pace University School of Law in New York, that is now famous as a Pace Women’s Justice Center.


Local leaders from a National Association for a Advancement of Colored People, a Southern Christian Leadership Conference and a National Action Network are job for Florida Governor Rick Scott to atonement Alexander, who is African American.

The groups have asked a administrator to emanate a assign force to inspect a “10-20-Life” law, that they contend disproportionately affects African Americans.

They also wish an existent assign force looking into Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law to inspect how that statute, that allows people to use lethal force when they trust their lives or reserve are threatened, has influenced domestic attack victims.

Much of a madness during a request burial on Tuesday in Jacksonville attended by about 100 Alexander supporters was destined during State Attorney Angela Corey, whose bureau prosecuted Alexander.

Corey is also a prosecutor in a racially charged box of Trayvon Martin, a black 17-year-old who was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida, in Feb by a area watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, who is white and Hispanic.

“The probity system, a really legal bend of a government, has always been where personification fields are leveled, politics, favoritism, influence and taste are put in check and left outward a courthouse,” Isaiah Rumlin, boss of a Jacksonville section of a NAACP, pronounced during a request vigil.

“However, given Angela Corey’s reign as state profession began, loyal probity has taken a behind chair to domestic gamesmanship,” he said.

Alexander’s box perceived small courtesy until after she was convicted. Black leaders and critics of smallest sentencing laws have drawn parallels between Alexander, whose “Stand Your Ground” invulnerability was denied by a judge, and a Sanford box where prosecutors primarily did not assign Zimmerman, citing a law.

Zimmerman, who was subsequently charged by Corey with second-degree murder, has pronounced he dismissed in self-defense when Martin pounded him.

Corey, meanwhile, believes a contribution of a Alexander box have been muddied by her supporters.

“We attempted 22 murder cases this year in my circuit,” Corey told Reuters in an talk progressing this month. “They’re all tragic. They all have tons of issues in them. Why is this box so different?”

(Editing by David Adams and Eric Beech)