The Backward and Unjust Justice System of Florida

STORY BY Vicky Victoria

Published: September 27, 2013

Can someone tell me what’s going on here? A Florida woman, Marissa Alexander, who was defending herself against an abusive husband by firing a warning shot in the air, in order to get him to back the hell off, is sentenced to 20 years in prison for attempted murder, meanwhile, George Zimmerman is set free with no convictions after killing a teenage boy. Really? How on earth did our society ever get so sick, twisted, and void of equality? Please, only logical answers.

Justice  

As many of you now by now Florida has Stand Your Ground Law that gives individuals the right to use deadly force to defend themselves without any requirement to retreat from a dangerous situation. So why was Zimmerman found not guilty when he killed a boy walking home from school and a woman without any prior convictions is found guilty of attempted murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a bullet into the air? 

This Florida Statutes Chapter 776 begins by describing “justifiable use of force” which states: 

“Use of force in defense of person. A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force.” 

This makes sense, right? A person is harming me and I must defend myself, therefore the law is on my side. 

The law continues however (the part that let’s you kill someone) as such: 

“a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:

(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or

    1. Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013: Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.”

So what does all this mean? According to the judge's order, "there is insufficient evidence that the Defendant reasonably believed deadly force was needed to prevent death or great bodily harm to herself," and that the fact that she came back into the home, instead of leaving out the front or back door "is inconsistent with a person who is in genuine fear for her life." Therefore, unlike Zimmerman, she is not set free nor protected under Stand Your Ground.

What happened to the the beginning of that law? You know, the opening paragraph that talks about “justifiable use of force” against an imminent threat? The man, her husband, Mr. Gray, was abusive and was aggressively approaching her. Well, I guess that just goes right out the window. 

What is so mind boggling here is the state of Florida’s laws are so backward, and the jury took only 12 minutes to deliberate and convict after hearing Mr. Gray’s testimony, "she shot in the air one time," and is sentencing Alexander to prison after not shooting anyone.

Let’s go over this one more time. Alexander had a protective order against Mr. Gray, Mr. Gray has a history of abuse, they were no longer living with each other for 9 days, he grabbed her neck and said “If I can’t have you, nobody going to have you”, she goes to the garage and gets her gun, fires it one time in the air, and now she is sentenced to 20 years in prison and Zimmerman who shot and killed a teenage boy is free.

Where are we? Saudi Arabia? Zimbabwe? If this were a case coming from one of these countries or one of the many other nations blatantly ruled by corruption and injustice with atrocious women’s rights records, I would be less shocked- though equally appalled. But we are talking about the Good Ole’ U.S. of A. I guess it just ain’t that good any more. One possible ray of light: a new trail has just been order. 

 

Other Stories by Vicky Victoria
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