A Florida woman who claimed to be a victim of abuse, yet was sentenced to 20 years behind bars for allegedly firing a warning shot during a dispute with her then husband, was released on bond just in time for Thanksgiving.
Marissa Alexander was released Wednesday night with bond set at $200,000 and must remain under house arrest as she awaits a new trial. It took just 12 minutes for a jury to convict Alexander, a mother of three, of aggravated assault in 2012. The conviction of Alexander, who is black, sparked outrage and cries of a racial double standard in light of the exoneration of George Zimmerman, for the death of Trayvon Martin.
Alexander unsuccessfully tried to invoke Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law as the same state’s attorney office and prosecution team from Duval County who unsuccessfully worked to put Zimmerman behind bars told the court that she did not act in self-defense.
Alexander was granted a new trial in September after an appellate judge ruled that jury instructions handed down during her trial were wrong. The instructions from her original trial included one that said Alexander had to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that she was acting in self-defense, and that self-defense only applied if the victim suffered an injury, which her husband had not.