Cabinet Says Too Early For Alexander Pardon

Aug 6, 2013

A South Florida lawmaker’s request to pardon a Jacksonville woman who a judge ruled did not qualify for a “Stand Your Ground” defense is getting a muted response.  Cabinet members say it’s too soon to pardon Marissa Alexander.

Alexander was convicted according to the state’s 10-20-life law for firing a gun at her husband during a domestic dispute at their home. Alexander tried to claim self-defense under the state’s “Stand Your Ground Law” but it was rejected. The state initially offered a 3-year plea deal, which she turned down. Governor Rick Scott weighed in Tuesday, saying Alexander’s case should go through the right channels before he considers clemency.

 “Cases like that, the right process we have is it starts with our general counsel. So I would recommend the Senator start with Peter Antonacci, our general counsel,” Scott said. 

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says he and the rest of the cabinet will look into the issue if it warrants their time.

“I look forward to receiving Senator Bullard’s letter and looking into that case to the extent that that case is ripe for clemency action," Putnam said.

Alexander claims her husband was abusive. According to court documents, she got into a dispute with her husband, left the house and came back in with the gun, from which she fired a “warning shot”. Her husband later called police and Alexander was arrested.

In a motion denying her a “Stand Your Ground” defense, the judge in the case noted that after Alexander’s initial arrest, she attacked her husband again at a different residence. Alexander is appealing her conviction on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon. 

Florida Cabinet members say they haven’t yet received a pardon request sent by Miami State Senator Dwight Bullard on Alexander's behalf. Her case is being appealed.