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Marissa Alexander accepts plea, avoids possible 60 years in prison

By Richard Blake and Fernando Figueroa |
December 2, 2014
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Jacksonville, FL - Marissa Alexander took a plea deal offered by the State Attorney to avoid an upcoming trial on Dec. 8 where she would have faced up to 60 years in prison. Alexander was charged in 2012 with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after firing a warning shot to defend herself from her estranged abusive husband.

The plea deal includes three years in prison, but Alexander will receive credit for the almost 3 years she spent in jail during this case, leaving her with just 65 days left to serve. Alexander cited the interests of her children as a major factor in her decision to accept the plea deal.

Her trial highlighted the injustice system's targeting of African Americans and women. State Attorney Angela Corey seemed determined to demonize a survivor and paint Alexander as the criminal simply for defending herself, while Corey had no problem letting George Zimmerman walk after he murdered Trayvon Martin. The reality is that the justice system is the real criminal in this case – criminal for abusing a woman who has already fought for so long to get justice for herself and for her family.

Organizers around the country called for national protests throughout the trial demanding Free Marissa Now! Locally, the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition (JPC) distributed fliers calling for a rally on the steps of the Duval County Courthouse beginning on the first day of the trial.

JPC organizer Dennis Thomas said, “I think she fell victim to the injustice system – by accepting a plea deal when you know in your heart that you're innocent. We need to keep organizing against a corrupt system that forces people to make hard decisions like that. We need justice for Trayvon Martin, justice for Eric Gardner, justice for Michael Brown and we still need justice for Marissa, too.”

The Jacksonville Progressive Coalition will continue to organize for the immediate resignation of Angela Corey, who continues to lock up more Black and Latino youth in Jacksonville than anywhere else in Florida. For more information, join the Facebook group: Jacksonville Progressive Coalition.

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