Check out my latest column for BET.com:
“Stand Your Ground” laws are now something most Americans have heard of. The killing ofTrayvon Martin at the hands of George Zimmerman made “Stand Your Ground” a part of the national conversation and the continued fascination with the conservative backed laws, continue to be debated as Marissa Alexander languishes in prison awaiting her new trial next March.
Marissa Alexander is a 32-year-old mother who fired a warning shot that hit no one during a dispute with her abusive husband, Rico Gray, in 2011. Alexander had no criminal record and had given birth to a baby just nine days prior to the incident.
Alexander fired a warning shot at her abusive husband during a confrontation and was charged, tried and convicted for aggravated assault. The “Stand Your Ground” defense — which allows a person to use deadly force to defend themselves from serious bodily harm — did not work for Alexander and as a result she was sentenced to 20 years under Florida’s mandatory minimum sentencing laws.
Read the rest of the column here.