What happens when the victim lives?
George Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict has social media networks spreading the story of another Florida self-defense case – last year’s trial of Marissa Alexander.
She had gotten a restraining order against her allegedly abusive husband, and had returned to their home to get her clothes, when her husband showed up – with his two children from a previous relationship – and trapped her in the bathroom.
She pushed past him – and went to her car, intending to leave, but didn’t have her car keys. So she took her gun from the glove compartment and returned, demanding that he leave.
“He saw my weapon at my side, and that’s when he threatened to kill me,” Alexander claimed.
So, as she told CNN at the time, she fired the gun. But not at him. She fired a warning shot at the wall.
“And had I not discharged my weapon at that point, I would not be here,” she said.
At which point her husband and the children ran.
Alexander claimed immunity under “Stand Your Ground.” But a judge said she wasn’t in physical danger when she went for the gun, and that the shot might have hit the children.
So Marissa Alexander was charged with aggravated assault by prosecutor by Angela Corey – the same prosecutor who charged George Zimmerman. The jury deliberated for 12 minutes, and found her guilty.
And because she discharged a firearm in the commission of a felony, under Florida law, she is now serving 20 years – even though no one was hurt, and she had no previous criminal record.
There are plenty of differences between her case and George Zimmerman’s case, but the main reason she’s serving 20 years and Zimmerman is free might well be that her intended victim lived to testify.