Marissa Alexander, the Black woman who many feel was unfairly jailed per Florida’s seemingly disparate application of its “Stand Your Ground” laws, was released from prison Tuesday afternoon, according to local Jacksonville station 4JAX.
Alexander will come home, but will spend the next two years under electronic monitoring – and on her own dime.
The 34-year-old mother was jailed more than four years ago, and was serving a 20 year sentence for firing one gunshot shot at her estranged husband, who was a confirmed abuser.
The case began in August 2010. Nine days after giving birth to her daughter, Alexander was assaulted and threatened by her estranged husband, Rico Gray. Alexander then left the house to get a gun from the garage, returned and fired a shot in the direction of Gray and his two young sons.
Alexander claimed it was a warning shot but a jury disagreed, convicting her on three counts of aggravated armed assault [in just 12 minutes]. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison under Florida’s minimum sentencing guidelines for using a firearm.
Especially in light of the Trayvon Martin killing, wherein George Zimmerman didn’t serve one day after invoking a “Stand Your Ground” defense, many called attention to the fact that in Alexander’s case – where no one died – she was not allowed to invoke the same law. District attorney, Angela Corey, prosecuted both the Zimmerman and Alexander cases.
Many domestic violence survivors and activist groups, like the Dream Defenders, have rallied behind Alexander and in September she was granted a new trial. However, Corey threatened to give Alexander 60 years when the case was retried, and so Alexander accepted a plea in exchange for credit for time served, as well as GPS ankle monitoring for the next two years.
Under the agreement, Alexander must wear the monitor at all times and will only be allowed to leave her home to go to work, job interviews, church, family medical and dental appointments, and her children’s schools, reports 4Jax.
Further, Alexander has to pay those monitoring costs out of her own pocket. The nearly $11,000 in costs over two years has already been raised by Alexander’s supporters, who crowd sourced more than $58,000 via GoGetFunding, reports MSNBC.
As she left the courthouse, Alexander read a prepared statement, which expressed gratitude to her supporters, and family. It read in part:
“I look forward to the full-time challenge of getting my two teenagers through high school and into college, as well we preparing my 4-year-old daughter for nursery school. My goal is to continue my education beyond my master’s degree and to continue my professional career. Also, I will continue to learn lessons from the events of the past, but I will not live in the past. At the age of 34, life is too short and there’s too much I have to accomplish in the years ahead. It’s my hope and prayer that everyone associated with this case will be able to move on with their lives.”