The woman found guilty of weapon and assault charges for firing a warning shot towards her abusive husband and his kids, Marissa Alexander is now free from house arrest as of this past Monday (Jan. 27). Alexander claimed her actions as self-defense and believed she’d be protected under the “Stand Your Ground” law back in 2012. Her now-estranged husband, Rico Gray, admitted to abusing Alexander, and his other “baby mamas,” in addition to confirming Alexander’s claim to have tried to escape his home through the garage door that would not open.
The law makes it legal to use deadly force without first attempting to retreat if the “force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm.” But the same prosecutor for the George Zimmerman trial and former state attorney, Angela Corey, didn’t believe Alexander’s actions were a self-defense response. Instead, she denoted Alexander’s actions to anger. Corey instead suggested that Alexander should’ve fled the home, despite her confirmed attempt. This caused controversy around the case in regards to the same law working in favor of Zimmerman, and the documented bias behind the arrest of women in domestic violence situations as reported by the National Center For Domestic And Sexual Violence.
Alexander had just prematurely given birth to her daughter a few days before the appeals process and was separated from her during that period. Thanks to those a part of the Survived and Punished Initiative, Alexander’s case thrived in the spotlight throughout the duration of her fight for justice.
Alexander went from a sentence of 20 years–under Florida’s 10-20-Life law–to serving house arrest for two years, to now being a free woman. Considering the gratitude expressed by her family on their Facebook post shown below, it can be concluded it’s been an uphill battle, but the entire Alexander family is finally seeing the end.
In moving forward, the family shares that Marissa Alexander has launched a non-profit organization to “end domestic violence and injustice in the criminal justice system,” The Marissa Alexander Justice Project. They asked for continued support with her newfound efforts.