Published on May 1st, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria0
Marissa Alexander Highlights The Inequities in Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law
An extension of what is known as a “Castle Doctrine,” “Stand Your Ground” laws allow for deadly force to be used in self-defense when a person believes they are in danger or generally the victim of aggression. Whether shooter George Zimmerman was legally covered by such laws considering his actions on the night of Trayvon Martin’s death is up for debate- but what is clear is that it seems the law is applied unevenly, at least looking at the case of Florida mother-of-three Marissa Alexander.
Alexander, unlike Martin, did not shoot anyone dead- during a domestic dispute, and in fear for her life, she fired a gun at the ceiling. Now she faces twenty years in prison after escaping an alleged attempted strangulation by her now ex-husband. Alexander’s mother, Helen Jenkins, referred to the Trayvon Martin case when discussing Alexander’s predicament:
“You hear about people killing people and walking away. You hear about people shooting people and not getting charged for it. I look at my daughter, she didn’t shoot anyone, she wanted to protect herself.”
“She didn’t want to kill him, she just didn’t want him to kill her. In America we have the right to bear arms. She did everything right that she was supposed to do and she ended up behind bars facing 20 years. I don’t know what that says. Does that tell men it’s OK to beat your wives? I haven’t heard anything about that.”
As of now, Marissa Alexander remains in jail in Jacksonville.