Lawmaker Calls For Pardon For Jacksonville Woman Serving 20 Years

Aug 5, 2013

Sen. Bullard
Credit Florida Senate

A Democratic state senator is calling for state officials to pardon a Jacksonville woman sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a gun in her husband’s house. Miami Senator Dwight Bullard says Marissa Alexander’s case highlights the need to repeal the state’s Stand Your Ground law.

Bullard says the not-guilty verdict in the Trayvon Martin case reignited public outcry over the Marissa Alexander case. Alexander told a judge a history of spousal abuse provoked her to retrieve a gun from her car and fire it inside her husband’s home. She received a mandatory 20-year sentence for assault with a deadly weapon. Meanwhile, George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges related to Martin’s killing.

Bullard says the two Florida cases show a miscarriage of justice, “considering she harmed no one and is separated from her children while serving 20 years in prison while another gentleman is able to walk the streets having a dead body on his record.”

Bullard says Alexander’s supporters will be at Tuesday’s Florida Cabinet meeting demanding a pardon. Bullard sent a letter to Gov. Rick Scott requesting the same, but Scott responded that the other cabinet members must also agree. Bullard followed up with letters to State Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

CORRECTED: A previous version of this story said Alexander fired a gun outside her ex-husband's house. She fired inside the house and was still married to the man she was confronting.