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Thread: Another Fl. case- no "SYG" ruling-agree with this verdict?

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    Another Fl. case- no "SYG" ruling-agree with this verdict?

    Before I throw in my 2 cents on it, Im curious to see of folks here agree with the jury on this one- 20 yr.s sentence for firing a "warning" shot vs. out-right shooting her attacker.


    Marissa Alexander gets 20 years for firing warning shot after Stand Your Ground defense fails

    By Gil Aegerter, msnbc.com

    Marissa Alexander, whose case brought allegations that Florida's Stand Your Ground law is being unfairly applied, was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday after being convicted of three counts of aggravated assault after firing a warning shot during a dispute with her husband.

    The case sparked a confrontation between a congresswoman and the prosecutor after the sentencing in Jacksonville, Fla., WJXT-TV reported.

    Alexander, 31, claimed she fired a shot from a handgun into the wall to protect herself during a confrontation with her husband, who she said had abused her, WJXT reported. Two children were with him when she fired a shot in his direction, and she was charged with three counts of aggravated assault.

    Her attorneys claimed self-defense and cited the state's Stand Your Ground law, which gives people some protection from prosecution for using potentially deadly force in cases in which they feel their life is threatened. The law came under nationwide scrutiny during the Trayvon Martin case, when neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot an unarmed teen and authorities waited weeks before charging him.

    But a jury agreed with prosecutors that the law didn't apply because she left during the argument, got a gun and returned to confront him, WJXT reported.

    Last week, State Attorney Angela Corey, who is also handling the Zimmerman case, said she personally met with Alexander and reviewed the evidence in the case, WJXT reported. She said she offered Alexander a three-year sentence before trial, despite the case qualifying for a 20-year minimum mandatory sentence.

    The case has sparked rallies on Alexander's behalf, and WJXT described a heated scene outside the courtroom after the sentencing:

    "Three years is not mercy and 20 years is not justice," U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown told Corey in an animated confrontation in the hallway. "If there ever was a stand-your-ground case, it was this one."

    She said she has been in contact with some of the best domestic violence attorneys in the country and will be involved in the appeals process.

    "This is the beginning, not the end," Brown said of Alexander case. "Clearly there is institutional racism."

    At issue in the case were Alexander's actions leading up to the firing of the shot.

    Alexander has said that 36-year-old Rico Gray had physically abused her in a dispute on Aug. 1, 2010. She testified that she fled into a garage and got a gun, but was unable to leave the home because the garage door was stuck. She testified that she went back into the house, where Gray was with his two sons, and fired the shot.

    But Corey argued that Stand Your Law did not apply because Alexander acted in anger. The judge agreed, saying that by returning to the house, she showed she was not in fear for her life.

    Gray had been arrested twice on domestic battery allegations, but Alexander had been charged with domestic battery four months after the shooting, Jacksonville.com reported.

    The 20-year sentence was a mandatory minimum under Florida's "10-20-Life law," which mandates sentences for crimes involving a firearm, the Grio.com reported.

    After the hearing, Alexander's attorney, Kevin Cobbin, said the Stand Your Ground law isn't always applied fairly, NBC station WLTV reported.

    "The law was made for people like Ms. Alexander," Cobbin said. "They did not make it for people running around on the streets shooting people. They made it for women in their homes trying to defended themselves against abusive mean men."

  2. #2
    Regular Member zekester's Avatar
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    Sorry....she left "then got the gun" and came back...as a Juror...guilty.

    If she would have stayed in the garage and then he came after her and then shot...different story. Unless she was sole owner of the home in question.

    I would have hunkered down...had a bead on the door leading from the house to the garage and taking the pig out.

    20yrs too much?...oh yeah...especiallly based on the history..if the facts are correct...it is what it is.
    Last edited by zekester; 05-13-2012 at 12:28 PM.
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    I dont entirely disaggree..but-given the high likelyhood of the details being ommitted, or at least slanted-one way or the other...
    But if it happened as written here, then perhaps..but if she had no other option for vacating the house (door locked or not-working) and back out through the front, then what? What if the guy stated, or somehow gave her the impression he wasnt going to let her leave?

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    Big no-no

    [QUOTE=j4l;1753006]Before I throw in my 2 cents on it, Im curious to see of folks here agree with the jury on this one- 20 yr.s sentence for firing a "warning" shot vs. out-right shooting her attacker.


    Marissa Alexander gets 20 years for firing warning shot after Stand Your Ground defense fails

    .




    She testified that she fled into a garage and got a gun, but was unable to leave the home because the garage door was stuck. She testified that she went back into the house, where Gray was with his two sons, and fired the shot.

    But Corey argued that Stand Your Law did not apply because Alexander acted in anger. The judge agreed, saying that by returning to the house, she showed she was not in fear for her life.

    775.087(2)FS

    2. Any person who is convicted of a felony or an attempt to commit a felony listed in sub-subparagraphs (a)1.a.-q., regardless of whether the use of a weapon is an element of the felony, and during the course of the commission of the felony such person discharged a “firearm” or “destructive device” as defined in s. 790.001 shall be sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

    The law was aimed at deterring armed robberies. There was a big publicity campaign under Gov. Jeb Bush who pushed for the law. There were abundant public service TV advertisements, and store front posters.

    Prosecutors have the discretion to plea bargain this section and many times do so in the interest of justice., and in this case offered a good deal. But this defendant chose to go to trial???? Sometimes defendants insist on a trial against the advise of counsel. I hope this was the case in this case.

    As I commented on another forum, discharging a firearm in the general direction of a person - into the ground or over their head-, even though there is no intent to kill or inflict bodily harm (commonly called "warning shot") meets the criteria for deadly force.

    If there is fear sufficient to justify firing the firearm there is justification for firing directly at the threat. If that level of fear is not present, there is no justification for pulling the trigger at all.

    Aside from legalities, warning shots communicate hesitation rather than determination, wastes precious time, depletes possibly much needed ammo, and noise has zero stopping power.

    This defendant and many like her suffer from training derrived from Hollywood and folklore. Having a firearm for personal protection is an awesome responsibility, and professional training is the cheapest insurance anyone can buy.




    .

    "

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    Understand all that, but-

    "and during the course of the commission of the felony such person discharged a “firearm” or “destructive device” as defined in s. 790.001 "

    Other than having fired the sidearm, what felony, was she supposed to have been in the commission of, to begin with? She wasnt robbing the place, or anything else that we are aware of, other than trying to get out of there.

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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    convicted of three counts of aggravated assault after firing a warning shot during a dispute with her husband... claimed she fired a shot from a handgun into the wall to protect herself
    1) No warning shots
    2) How was her life in danger from a wall?

    But a jury agreed with prosecutors that the law didn't apply because she left during the argument, got a gun and returned to confront him, WJXT reported.
    ...
    Alexander has said that 36-year-old Rico Gray had physically abused her in a dispute on Aug. 1, 2010. She testified that she fled into a garage and got a gun, but was unable to leave the home because the garage door was stuck. She testified that she went back into the house, where Gray was with his two sons, and fired the shot.
    I can see going into the house in hope of being able to get out a working door.
    Compare that to sitting in the garage cornered like a rat while your attacker waits on the other side of the door.
    But if there were a window or any other way out of the garage, no, she shouldn't have gone in the house to get away from him.
    Or did she have a phone on her that she could have called police? (Again.)
    And did he come toward her while she was trying to leave the house, so she was once again in reasonable fear of great bodily harm, or was he sitting watching TV with the boys & she went to him?

    As a side note, why keep the gun in the garage? That seems an insecure place, & not very handy in the case of a home invasion.

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    Regular Member zekester's Avatar
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    MKE...she may have been worried about a carjacking!...lol
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    Just a note - we all KNOW that the press, as they usually do, has supplied us ALL the information necessary for us to make an enlightened decision on the matter!

    Carry on!

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    while acknowledging a possible lack of all the facts, one the defense steadfastly states: she left the 'danger' zone, she grab'd a gun out of the car, and went back into the 'danger' zone where her attacker was!! No dispute w/that fact!!

    IMO, she is lucky she wasn't charged w/premeditated attempted murder since she left the area, gathered a loaded firearm, and 'sought out' her attacker as some prosecutors might have pushed. it is not my fault she is a bad shot and missed her target.

    Judge is correct...it is out of his hands...a jury of her peers found her guilty, he also must sentence her against prevailing FL statutes.

    Judical leniency...i refuse to speculate on this aspect of the case!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by j4l View Post
    Understand all that, but-

    "and during the course of the commission of the felony such person discharged a “firearm” or “destructive device” as defined in s. 790.001 "

    Other than having fired the sidearm, what felony, was she supposed to have been in the commission of, to begin with? She wasnt robbing the place, or anything else that we are aware of, other than trying to get out of there.
    She committed Agravated Assault, a forceable felony per se, and did it at gunpoint. Based on the synopsis presented above she was not in imminent danger at the time and location of the AA and had not been held against her will. (If the evidence showed she had been kidnapped she could have legally shot her way out). Under 10-20-Life she would get 10 years for just threatening with the gun, 20 years for firing the gun, and Life had the bullet struck the "victim".

    As to the comment referencing victims of Domestic Violence: Keep in mind the Stand Your Ground law is merely an extension of the Castle Doctrine to locations beyond ones home. Under the Castle Doctrine both residents -marrried or not- have equal claim to the castle, therefore both have a duty to retreat.

    I have encountered several situations where the abused party could have legally shot the abuser during the altercation, but did not do so until the fight had ceased and therefore ended up facing felony charges. Sometimes if there is a history of abuse the State will offer to accept a plea to a lesser charge and penalty "in the interest of justice", and did so in this case.

    Bottom line is you can't shoot someone just because their sorry butt needs shootin' - as was the case here.
    Last edited by 6-shooter; 05-13-2012 at 02:19 PM.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    "Warning shots" are actually prohibited by policy for most LEOs. And in many municipalities, firing a "warning shot" will--at the very least--get you charged with "unauthorized discharge of a firearm", or like in this case with "aggravated assault".

    This lady should have shot her ex "center mass" if she felt her life was threatened. She would have had a MUCH easier go of it with the legal system.

    If you are not willing to--or emotionally capable of--USING lethal force to stop a violent attack, then you need to just reconcile yourself to the fact that you ARE a "voluntary victim", and not own a gun in the first place...
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    Nobody gets a warning shot. You tell them stop or I will shoot. If you have to pull the trigger, the intent better be to kill, in self defense. Otherwise, be prepared to spend some time in jail.

    Leaving the house and returning with a gun certainly hurt her case.
    Last edited by FallonJeeper; 05-13-2012 at 05:53 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by j4l View Post
    What if the guy stated, or somehow gave her the impression he wasn't going to let her leave?
    Since he did in fact let her leave, how could he have given the impression he wasn't going to let her leave?

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    Regular Member Uber_Olafsun's Avatar
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    Don't garages all have safety releases to allow then to open? I wonder how many in the courtroom hoped that syg defense worked yet are up in arms about Trayvon which facts are still coming out on?

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    I guess I'm confused here...whne did she have to Stand Her Ground? If she left, to return, I'm not sure she was in danger. However, I preface these comments based upon the fact, I don't know all the facts, so if additional info is forthcoming, I reserve the right to change my view.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uber_Olafsun
    Don't garages all have safety releases to allow then to open?
    Something I hadn't considered before.
    Yes, powered garage door openers do generally have an emergency/power-out release.
    But they stated the door was stuck.
    Was that the walk door, & she couldn't open the garage door manually or get to the button or release cord?
    Or was the stuck door the overhead one, in which case what happened to the walk door?
    Or were they both stuck?
    And was there a window?

    Quote Originally Posted by FallonJeeper
    If you have to pull the trigger, the intent better be to kill, in self defense.
    Otherwise, be prepared to spend some time in jail.
    Just backwards; if you ever intentionally kill someone, you'll be spending time in jail.
    NEVER shoot to kill. Only shoot to stop the threat.
    "I wanted to stop him from rapeing the woman."
    "I wanted to stop him from kidnapping my son."
    "I wanted to stop him from trying to seriously harm me."

    The best way to stop someone from continuing their attack also happens (sadly) to be a really good way to kill them: put several pieces of high-velocity lead into center mass.
    Repeat until they stop &/or fall down.
    But your intent should always be to stop the attack.
    If it ever crosses your mind "I want to kill this SOB", either don't shoot or don't ever tell anyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by ncwabbit
    she left the 'danger' zone, she grab'd a gun out of the car, and went back into the 'danger' zone where her attacker was!!
    ...
    she left the area, gathered a loaded firearm, and 'sought out' her attacker as some prosecutors might have pushed.
    Quote Originally Posted by 6-shooter
    she was not in imminent danger at the time and location of the AA and had not been held against her will.
    If it's true that the only way out of the garage was back through the house, past her abuser, then she hadn't really "left the danger zone" by going into the garage. If the only way out was through the house, staying in the garage was a bad situation because she was cornered.
    But as others have pointed out, we need more info about the garage situation.
    Was there a window, was there a usable walk door, a usable overhead door, what exactly was stuck?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MKEgal View Post
    ....
    If it's true that the only way out of the garage was back through the house, past her abuser, then she hadn't really "left the danger zone" by going into the garage. If the only way out was through the house, staying in the garage was a bad situation because she was cornered.
    But as others have pointed out, we need more info about the garage situation.
    Was there a window, was there a usable walk door, a usable overhead door, what exactly was stuck?
    But at the time she did not need to get out of the garage, let alone out of the house. She has successfully disengaged from the person she says was abusing her. The abuse, therefore ceased. No more was there an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.

    Now, IF the husband followed her to the garage, or later entered the garage, a new imminent threat might have existed. But we'll never know, because she did not stay separated from her alleged abuser.

    As I understand the working of the law (and admit I am by no means well-versed in FLA law) returning to a fray that one has previously quit makes one the aggressor in the new fray. While this is a concept that is not difficult to understand there seems to be a number of factors that make several here not want to accept that as being the case. That's also what I read in comments about the mandatory sentence being "unfair" and "too long".

    stay safe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    But at the time she did not need to get out of the garage, let alone out of the house. She has successfully disengaged from the person she says was abusing her. The abuse, therefore ceased. No more was there an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.

    Now, IF the husband followed her to the garage, or later entered the garage, a new imminent threat might have existed. But we'll never know, because she did not stay separated from her alleged abuser.

    As I understand the working of the law (and admit I am by no means well-versed in FLA law) returning to a fray that one has previously quit makes one the aggressor in the new fray. While this is a concept that is not difficult to understand there seems to be a number of factors that make several here not want to accept that as being the case. That's also what I read in comments about the mandatory sentence being "unfair" and "too long".

    stay safe.
    I'd normally agree with the 'disengaged' comment but didn't the man go on record admitting he threatened to kill her?

    http://www.politicususa.com/standing...erogative.html

    “I believe when he threatened to kill me, that’s what he was absolutely going to do,” she said. “That’s what he intended to do. Had I not discharged my weapon at that point, I would not be here.”

    According to her, the threat on her life was issued *after* she went back into the house. Even if it wasn't, at what point does the law conclude that a threat of deadly physical harm is over? Just because she leaves and comes back doesn't mean the threat against her life just magically disappears.

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    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    I agree with the little Gal, if she could not get out of the garage and she had no phone. Then absolutely she had a right to try and vacate the premises by way of the house. What do you expect her to do, stay in the garage until she dies of thirst?

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    Regular Member Logan 5's Avatar
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    Firing a warning shot can be just as deadly. No one can tell a bullet to ignore physics, that it's just a warning shot.
    I don't have the case details in front of me to make any decision for or against, other than that I already said.
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    State Prosecutor ANGELA CORY is the Real Criminal

    Quote Originally Posted by knightfire View Post
    “I believe when he threatened to kill me, that’s what he was absolutely going to do,” she said. “That’s what he intended to do. Had I not discharged my weapon at that point, I would not be here.”
    It's not Florida law that's screwed up. The law is clear.

    It's Angela Corey who is SNAFU-ing the citizens of Florida. She's the State Attorney out of Jacksonville who overturned the original prosecutor in the Zimmerman case. As you recall, the original prosecutor declined to press charges, saying it was a clear case of self-defense. Corey either bent to political pressure, is looking to make a name for herself, or is on some libtard's payroll (probably a promise of campaign donation).

    She talks a good game, throwing around the word "victims" in her speeches like rice at a wedding, yet more often than not, the real victims in cases she prosecutes are honest, law-abiding citizens like Zimmerman who get shafted by Cory merely because a firearm is involved.

    In fact, if you look at her record, she almost always focuses on the individual using the firearm, as "the bad guy," even when they're innocent.

    Self defense is not a crime. Angela Cory believes if a gun is involved, then it's a crime, and she abuses the authority of her office in an attempt to twist Florida law to her own way of thinking, which is right out of the pages of the Brady Bunch Handbook of Twister Thinking.

    SHE'S the criminal, here. Keep her name in mind: Angela Cory. Florida citizens won't be safe until she's removed from office.
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    It's not Florida law that's screwed up. The law is clear.

    It's Angela Corey who is SNAFU-ing the citizens of Florida. She's the State Attorney out of Jacksonville who overturned the original prosecutor in the Zimmerman case. As you recall, the original prosecutor declined to press charges, saying it was a clear case of self-defense. Corey either bent to political pressure, is looking to make a name for herself, or is on some libtard's payroll (probably a promise of campaign donation).

    She talks a good game, throwing around the word "victims" in her speeches like rice at a wedding, yet more often than not, the real victims in cases she prosecutes are honest, law-abiding citizens like Zimmerman who get shafted by Cory merely because a firearm is involved.

    In fact, if you look at her record, she almost always focuses on the individual using the firearm, as "the bad guy," even when they're innocent.

    Self defense is not a crime. Angela Cory believes if a gun is involved, then it's a crime, and she abuses the authority of her office in an attempt to twist Florida law to her own way of thinking, which is right out of the pages of the Brady Bunch Handbook of Twister Thinking.

    SHE'S the criminal, here. Keep her name in mind: Angela Cory. Florida citizens won't be safe until she's removed from office.

    Very well stated. She is up for election this year. Her mantra dovetails with the comments from the prosecuting attorney from the CATO discussion of SYG. The vitcim is alwasys innocent; however the man with the gun is always guilty until proven innocent. She is bass-ackwards!
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    Quote Originally Posted by knightfire View Post
    I'd normally agree with the 'disengaged' comment but didn't the man go on record admitting he threatened to kill her?

    http://www.politicususa.com/standing...erogative.html

    “I believe when he threatened to kill me, that’s what he was absolutely going to do,” she said. “That’s what he intended to do. Had I not discharged my weapon at that point, I would not be here.”

    According to her, the threat on her life was issued *after* she went back into the house. Even if it wasn't, at what point does the law conclude that a threat of deadly physical harm is over? Just because she leaves and comes back doesn't mean the threat against her life just magically disappears.
    SYG says she has every right to be wherever she has a legal right to be, which includes in her own home. But it does not extend to leaving the scene and then coming back with a handgun to enforce her right to be in her home.

    We will never know what would have happened if she had remained in the garage. We will never know if her husband was willing to lay seige to her and keep her in there until she died from lack of water. We do know that after she went into the garage and retrieved the handgun she intentionally returned inside the house where she knew there was a person who had offered her harm sufficient to cause her to go get the handgun in the first place. If nothing else that's a tactical error. Why not hunker down in the garage and prepare to defend herself in the event her husband comes after her? If she has the keys to the car why not drive through the stuck door and remove to even more safety? (In choosing between a threat of harm and the cost of replacing the garage door, I know which I would pick. YMMV) Why not get in the car, lock all the doors, and lean on the horn in an attempt to get the attention of the neighbors?

    The law looks at what took place as two separate events - 1) everything that took place before she went into the garage where her abusive husband was not present, and 2) having retrieved a deadly weapon returning to where her husband was and confronting him with that deadly weapon. (She does not need to point it at him, or say anything, to confront him with it.) As I said before, #2 makes her the aggressor in the eyes of the law.

    stay safe.
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  24. #24
    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    Read the deposition

    This post discusses the deposition where the guy, who isn't named, but apparently is "Mr. Gray" admits:
    ...I just don't know what would have happened. If my kids wouldn't have been there, I probably would have put my hands on her.

    Probably hit her. I got five baby mamas and I put my hand on every last one of them except one.

    I physically abused them; physically, emotionally, you know, it's like...Me, the way I was with women, they was like they had to walk on eggshells around me. You know, they never knew what I was thinking... or what I might do... hit them, push them.
    See here. Warning: BIG file. It gets interesting beginning on page 27.

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