Marissa Alexander may be sent back to jail for going shopping. Yes, you read that correctly and, yes, it is bullshit.
Alexander, who was freed on bond just before Thanksgiving, is awaiting retrial for an aggravated assault conviction in connection with firing a warning shot near her abusive husband. Her defense team unsuccessfully used Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground law and Florida State Attorney Angela Corey prosecuted Alexander to the fullest extent of the law. Shortly after, Corey did the exact opposite for George Zimmerman, who utilized a similar defense strategy in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, and pissed off a good chunk of America and the world at large.
Recently, Corey's office filed a motion to re-incarcerate Alexander citing that she has broken her home detention regulations by shopping and running errands.
“She continues to demonstrate her utter disregard for conforming her behavior to the rules of others (including other defendants granted bond by the courts) must abide by,” the motion filed by Assistant State Attorney Richard Mantei read.
Except Alexander's lawyer Bruce Zimet says she hasn't.
“Unfortunately, the State of Florida, knowing that [her corrections officer] had authorized and given Marissa Alexander permission for each of the trips and stops alleged by the State to be willful violations of Marissa Alexander’s bond, failed to include those exonerative facts in its application to this Court,” attorney Bruce Zimet wrote in his motion.
“No justification supports the state’s failure to include in its motion to modify and revoke bond the fact that every activity alleged to be a violation of bond had been approved by the agency charged with the responsibility of supervising Marissa Alexander’s bond,” Zimet added. “Obviously, including those omitted facts would expose the frivolity of the state’s motion.”
Welp. A bond hearing is slated for Friday to determine whether Alexander gets to stay home with family and friends or head back behind bars until her retrial, which is scheduled for this year.
Elsewhere, Florida law makers are trying to dismantle the legal conditions which contributed to Alexander’s 20-year jail sentence in the first place. The bill would allow people to legally show a gun or fire a warning shot without the possibility of imprisonment.
A similar bill was proposed last year, but it went nowhere. But with increased attention to Alexander's case and Florida's gun laws, the measure is moving ahead. A Senate committee on Wednesday voted in favor of the bill (SB 488) while a House committee has also voted in favor of similar legislation (HB 89).
Both bills would grant the same protections already in place under Florida's "stand your ground" law to people who only threaten to use force. It would make sure that people who show a gun would be immune from Florida's "10-20-Life" law, which requires anyone who shows a gun while committing certain felonies to be sentenced to 10 years in prison. If someone is shot and wounded, the sentence increases to 25 years to life. The law, implemented in 1999, has been credited with helping to lower Florida's violent-crime rate.
The National Rifle Association supports this bill, so maybe it will be successful — see that organization can use its power for good, maybe, when it doesn't involve Sandy Hook or dead children. Let's hope for Alexander's sake, this bill helps her conviction's undoing.
Image via AP.