Published Apr 26, 2012 9:18 PM
Corey’s actions in this case completely ignore Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law that supposedly justifies the right to self-defense — including taking someone’s life — for anyone who feels he or she will be harmed by anyone in any way. This is the same law that the Sanford, Fla., police allowed George Zimmerman to use to remain free for 45 days after he shot and killed unarmed, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26.
Once Zimmerman claimed that he felt “threatened” by a “suspicious” looking Martin, who was wearing a hoodie, the police refused to even arrest him. It was only after a massive, sustained outcry of protests throughout the U.S. that Corey was forced on April 11 to arrest Zimmerman, who was then freed on bail on April 23.
Alexander defended herself against a violent attack on Aug. 1, 2010, by her estranged spouse, but she is now facing many years in prison as the alleged assailant. It didn’t seem to matter to the prosecutor that she had an order of protection against her spouse and that she only fired a warning shot in her own home to scare him off.
Alexander’s case is an important example of the double standard that African Americans, in this case particularly African-American women, face in defending themselves against attack, including domestic violence. It makes clear that the so-called Stand Your Ground laws — which exist in many states — are really only designed to protect white male gun owners.
An open letter by Alexander, written on April 3 in consultation with her lawyer, states in part:
“On August 1, 2010, my premature baby girl, born nine days earlier, was in the Baptist South N.I.C.U. fighting for her life and I would too be fighting for my life in my own home against an attack from my husband. I am a mother of three children, but at the present time, I am not able to be with them due to the following circumstances. I am currently sitting in the Pretrial Detention Facility in Jacksonville, Fla., Duval County awaiting a sentence for three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon with no intent to harm. …
“I am a law-abiding citizen and I take great pride in my liberty, rights, and privileges as one. I have vehemently proclaimed my innocence and my actions that day. The enigma I face since that fateful day I was charged [and throughout the] trial: Does the law cover and apply to me too? A step further and more importantly is in light of recent news: [Does] justice for all include everyone, regardless of gender, race or aristocratic dichotomies? I simply want my story heard, reviewed, and the egregious way in which my case was handled from start to finish serve as an eye-opener for all and especially those responsible for upholding judicial affairs.”
To read the entire letter, sign the national petition to demand Alexander’s freedom, and find out how to get involved in this struggle for justice, go to justiceformarissa.blogspot.com.