A Florida woman, who was sentenced to a mandatory sentence of 20 years for firing a gun in an incident that injured no one, has been released awaiting retrial. Marissa Alexander was released Wednesday after an appellate court, last month, ordered a new trial in the controversial case.
The appellate court found that the trial judge had instructed the jury incorrectly. Alexander’s case gained national attention because the mandatory minimum sentence, for the mother of three with no prior criminal record, was seen has harsh. Alexander’s case also has shined a spotlight on Florida’s “stand your ground” law after she unsuccessfully argued for immunity before her 2012 trial.
Alexander was granted a pretrial release with conditions on a $150,000 bond. Supporters are thrilled by her release, but are worried about her retrial.
“We do know this is temporary joy…This is a victory, but the battle’s not over yet. The battle will be won in court,” said Anthony Heard of Free Marissa Now, “We’re all just happy that she’ll be home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and we’re going to focus on that right now.”
Marissa Alexander had argued self-defense in her original trial, but jurors believed State Attorney Angela Corey’s arguments against that. Alexander stated that she fired a warning shot at her self-admitted abusive husband inside the home because she was afraid of him.