We Spleen Florida Justice

361218369_da955857cc_zIf you’re going to fire a gun in Florida, make sure you hit your target. At least that seems the only way to evade conviction.

George Zimmerman was found not-guilty in 2013 for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin; Michael Dunn was recently convicted of attempted murder for shooting at three unarmed teenagers, but a hung jury couldn’t convict him of killing unarmed Jordan Davis.

Marissa Alexander didn’t shoot at anyone—she fired warning shots into a wall to scare her estranged, admittedly violent husband during a domestic violence dispute. But she was convicted in 2012 on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and given a 20-year sentence. After a huge public uproar, an appeals court overturned the conviction. Still, despite the reprieve, Florida is not only going to retry her, but prosecutor Angela Corey is asking for a sentence of 60 years in prison, triple the original.

And remember, George Zimmerman remains a free man.

Bruce Zimet, Alexander’s attorney, has said that he is going to fight the proposed sentencing using the Eighth Amendment, calling it cruel and unusual punishment. Helen Gilbert, spokeswoman for Free Marissa Now, said about the retrial:

It’s unimaginable that a woman acting in self-defense, who injured no one, can be given what amounts to a life sentence. This must send chills down the spine of every woman and everyone who cares about a woman and every woman in an abusive relationship.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user lifecreations licensed under Creative Commons 2.0



Lindsey O'Brien is currently studying journalism at Ohio University and interning at Ms. Follow her on Twitter.