This is how we roll down here in The Sunshine State

Will someone explain this to me please.

(CNN) — Saying he had no discretion under state law, a judge sentenced a Jacksonville, Florida, woman to 20 years in prison Friday for firing a warning shot in an effort to scare off her abusive husband.

Marissa Alexander unsuccessfully tried to use Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law to derail the prosecution, but a jury in March convicted her of aggravated assault after just 12 minutes of deliberation.

(Lost in the circus these last weeks: the Zimmerman case first made national headlines, not just because of racial overtones, but because it was the case wherein the rest of the country was introduced to Florida’s twisted “Stand Your Ground Law”. Most of us were repulsed. But hey . . . )

33 responses to “This is how we roll down here in The Sunshine State

  1. But Moe, girls should be playing with their own toys, right? Not boy toys

    Like

  2. I can’t believe that THIS is how the criminal justice system treats a domestic violence victim in 2013.

    Like

  3. Shepard Sherbell

    She made the fatal mistake of Breathing While Negro, an unforgivable sin in America’s Mezzogiorno.

    Like

    • While Negro plus While Woman. Double header for the poor lady. (And Shep, I had to go look up Mezzogiorno!)

      There’s a big drive now to make Scott pardon her. There’s an interesting dilemma for our indicted Medicare fraud governor – do it and get some votes or do it and lose some votes. What to do, what to do . . .

      Like

  4. Yep. And that case is exactly why they especially brought that waste of sex organs, Corey in to persecute Zimmerman.

    There was no sexism or racism in it though. It was simply that Corey doesn’t give a fuck about anything but but here “scorecard” and will do anything, fair or foul, to win her cases.

    Like

  5. Moe, how long do you have to live in this f@#$&d up state before you give up the notion of things making sense. You want logic, move back to the north eat.

    Like

  6. ah, the explination…..

    At the May 11 sentencing, Alexander’s relatives begged Circuit Judge James Daniel for leniency but he said the decision was “out of my hands.”

    “The Legislature has not given me the discretion to do what the family and many others have asked me to do,” he said.

    The state’s “10-20-life” law was implemented in 1999 and credited with helping to lower the violent crime rate. Anyone who shows a gun in the commission of certain felonies gets an automatic 10 years in prison. Fire the gun, and it’s an automatic 20 years. Shoot and wound someone, and it’s 25 years to life.

    Critics say Alexander’s case underscores the unfair sentences that can result when laws strip judges of discretion. About two-thirds of the states have mandatory-minimum sentencing laws, mostly for drug crimes, according to a website for the Families Against Mandatory Minimums advocacy group….

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/19/marissa-alexander-gets-20_n_1530035.html

    Like

    • Yep. It’s a good thing overall though…or, at least, all of you who think the entirety of the legal system is racist should believe so since it’s removes discretionary sentencing that could be influenced by various varieties of bigotry.

      Like

      • jonolan, you’re reading stuff that’s not here. I didn’t say anything about it being racist, just puzzling in light of the judge telling the Zimmerman jury that they could consider ‘stand your ground’ in thieir deliberatons.

        Like

        • Moe, I was speaking of the effects of either allowing or forbidding judges from discretionary sentencing. By forbidding it you eliminate potentially biased sentencing but you run into situations where people get wildly over-sentenced since mitigating circumstances aren’t allowed.

          Like

      • On that other subject, mandatory sentencing is not good,, it’s bad. We need human discretionary judgement. That’s what judges are asked to do when we make them judges. They’re not just administrators.

        It ain’t perfect but it beats that mandatory nonsense.

        Like

    • But james, what felony was she committing when she ‘showed the gun’? How was it not self defense.

      Like

      • Showed the gun? Nope. That’s a 1st degree misdemeanor – Title XLVI, Chapter 790.10 “Improper exhibition of dangerous weapons or firearms.”. Firing the warning shot was the felony.

        Like

        • How is it that self defense as cause of firing didn’t come into it?

          Like

          • Firstly, the judge threw out the pre-trial motion to to use SYG as her defense. Secondly, Corey successfully convinced the jury that Alexander could have fled. She did have an escape route and didn’t need AT THAT EXACT MOMENT to fire a weapon.

            It also didn’t help Alexander any that her husband and his two sons fled the scene and called 911 while she stayed there and called nobody…

            Like

  7. Ms. Holland,

    I agree with you that Marissa Alexander should not be in prison. She did not have the good fortune of Zimmerman in her defense or her jury. She had the misfortune of having Ms. Corey involved in her prosecution as did Zimmerman. What ever you think of Zimmerman, the prosecution pulled some crap against him. I agree with Jonolan about Corey. That woman is a real piece of work.

    Like

  8. We have all learned a valuable lesson here. When using a firearm in Florida, ensure that you kill the witness. Also, avoid being black.

    Like

  9. Note that SYG (preventive killing) corresponds precisely, at the state level, with America’s use of preventive war, preventive detention, and preventive assassination at the national level; it’s merely an instantiation of the general principles underlying the larger effort. And if you invest a little thought, the possibilities for wider application are virtually endless, and no doubt, for a certain type of mind, quite exhilarating.

    Like

    • SYG is NOT preventive killing. It merely removes the requirement for the victim of aggression to attempt to flee before defending themselves. I will, however, admit that a few of the early court cases involving it set some pretty stupid and, frankly, heinous standards for what constitutes a viable threat in a public space.

      In states with many laws to which bright-line rules are applied – FL being one of them – redressing issues in the standards by such means as SYG are needed, though even then that redress can fail as in the case of Marissa Alexander.

      Of course, it;’s possible that Corey pulled her various tricks because the FL AG’s office feels much the same as you do, ojmo, about SYG and decided to make their own precedents to raise the bar of using SYG as a defense high enough to effectively nullify the legislation.

      Like

      • My point is that the principle is identical for SYG, drone attacks, renderings, and full-scale invasions: preemptive attack based on assertions about someone’s future actions. The implications are easy enough to work out.

        Like

        • Yes but, legally speaking, you point is just plain wrong, at least so far. US law being based upon the principles of Common Law (except for Louisiana) does mean that in time SYG could mean what you claim it already does. On the other hand it could just end being meaningless for the same reason.

          Also – drone attacks, renditions, and full-scale invasions are rarely truly preemptive. They’re normally reactionary instead. If we actually did more preemptive violence the overall body-count and damages would be far lower than what we’ve seen over the last century.

          Like

          • The shared attributes of SYG with the current military and covert operations of the US government are self-evident, whatever the evolution of the law pertaining to SYG might be. And the assertion that “drone attacks, renditions, and full-scale invasions are rarely truly preemptive” is, of course, a point I reject–try convincing the people of Iraq.

            Like

    • Minority Report.

      Like

  10. Very interesting case and discussion on Florida law and the SYG, Moe. The defendant Alexander needed her car keys in order to flee her abusive husband. What was she supposed to do, run down the street while he pursued her in a car?

    This post not only confirms my impression that Florida’s laws are screwed up and poorly applied but that the jury process, at least in the Sunshine state, is terribly chancy and unreliable as to justice.

    Like

    • And despite what Alan said above Jim – that prosecutor Corey and the guy who actually conducted the prosecution seemed not too interested in finding Zimmerman guilty. If they did, there would be political problems in FL about gun laws. And we can’t have that . . . (sigh, I sometimes despair down here.)

      Like

  11. The laws are not designed to make moral decisions. They’re just not. Nor should they be. If the Zimmerman verdict has revealed a huge flaw in the law, then change the laws. That’s what democracy is about: you don’t like the rule of the land?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s