By: Mike Vasilinda
September 25, 2013
Florida’s Board of Executive Clemency held its quarterly meeting today, considering dozens of cases and granting pardons to the most deserving. The most notable part of today’s meeting is what the board didn’t do.
Marissa Alexander turned 33 two weeks ago. The mother of three fired a gun into the ceiling to scare an abusive ex husband. Under the state’s minimum mandatory law, Alexander was sent to prison for 20 years. The case has become a focal point for changing the state’s 10-20-Life law. “She fired a warning shot, no one was harmed. Yet she’s in jail for 20 years, that’s wrong. You should not have to shoot somebody in order to protect yourself and not be prosecuted,” Marion Hammer, Unified Sportsmen of FL.
State Senator Dwight Bullard has written the Governor and Clemency board, asking Alexander be pardoned and released. The board met Wednesday. The case wasn’t on the agenda. Bullard showed up anyway. “I think by the presence of me being there, the Clemency Board begins to acknowledge that fact that people are watching,” says Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami.
An application for Clemency is not a public record according to the rules for Clemency but we have confirmed that Marissa Alexander has submitted the paperwork.
Alexander’s case has sparked protests in Jacksonville and drawn national attention. The Task force studying Stand Your Ground said changes to 10-20-Life law should permit self defense. “A young woman in fear for her life, suffering from battered wife syndrome, choose to fire, really, a warning shot,” says Sen. Dwight Bullard.
Alexander has been behind bars 16 months.