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Marissa Alexander released from jail just in time for Thanksgiving

November 29, 2013

by Morgan Whitaker

Marissa Alexander is free from jail in time to spend Thanksgiving with family she has not seen for much of the last three years.

The Florida woman – who had been serving a 20-year sentence for firing what she described as a warning shot at her abusive husband – was released from jail Wednesday night at 10:30 p.m., according to a report from First Coast News. Her bond was set at $200,009.

Mandatory Minimums
Marissa Alexander is escorted into court for her bail hearing in Jacksonville on Nov. 13. – Photo: Bob Self, Florida Times-Union
Although no one was injured in the incident, a jury convicted Alexander of multiple counts of aggravated assault with a firearm in 2012, requiring a 20 year sentence thanks to Florida’s “10-20-Life” law, which sets mandatory minimum sentences for crimes committed with a gun. Her conviction was overturned in September when a judge ordered a retrial after finding that the jury instructions in her original trial were erroneous and had unfairly put the burden on Alexander to prove that she had fired her shot in self-defense.

Alexander has spent more than 1,000 days behind bars, according to her lawyers’ count, keeping her away from her youngest child for most of the first three years of her life.

Marissa Alexander is free from jail in time to spend Thanksgiving with family she has not seen for much of the last three years.

The organizers behind the Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign cheered her release in a statement Thursday on the group’s Facebook page:

“Words cannot express the relief and joy of everyone in the Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign that Marissa Alexander is home with her family this Thanksgiving Day. Ms. Alexander has been released on bond until a verdict is reached in her new trial that begins March 31, 2014.

“We hope the decision means that the Florida justice system has relented in its vindictive, hostile and racist legal assault on this African American mother of three. Ms. Alexander has been victimized twice – once by her abusive ex-husband and again by the state of Florida, which has stolen nearly three years from her life for an act of self-defense that injured no one.

“We are thrilled that Ms. Alexander will be able to prepare for her new trial amid the support and love of her children and family from whom she has been separated far too long.”

Although no one was injured in the incident, a jury convicted Alexander of multiple counts of aggravated assault with a firearm in 2012, requiring a 20 year sentence thanks to Florida’s “10-20-Life” law, which sets mandatory minimum sentences for crimes committed with a gun.

Free Marissa Now will gather today, on Thanksgiving, at 3 p.m. at the Landing in downtown Jacksonville near the Christmas Tree to celebrate her release and are calling it a “Welcome Home Celebration.”

The State Attorney’s Office also issued a response saying, “The State Attorney’s Office made all statements regarding its position on bond in its written response dated Nov. 13, 2013. The SAO will continue to seek justice for our two child victims and their father who were endangered by the shot the defendant fired at them. Any further comments regarding the prosecution of this defendant will be made in the proper venue – the courtroom.”

Marissa is confined to house arrest, with a GPS monitoring device, until she returns to court. Her lawyer, Bruce Zimet, expects her to remain out of jail until then.

According to the County Clerk of Courts, these are the conditions of Alexander’s bond:

  • Remain under supervision of pretrial services program (PSP) or its designated service provider, the Community Transitions Center (CTC) of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, at all times who will monitor her compliance
  • Subject to electronic monitoring through the CTC at all times
  • Remain on home detention until completion of her case and not allowed to leave her home except for court appearances, medical emergencies, and to satisfy any requirements of PSP or the CTC
  • Report for all required court appearances and all required appointments with the PSP or its designated service provider
  • Cannot change her residence without getting it approved by the PSP or its designated service provider
  • Cannot have contact with Rico Gray Sr. nor communicate by any means with parties involved in the original case
  • Has to abide by all court orders in the divorce proceedings involving Rico Gray Sr., including all orders that pertain to child custody. Exchange of child custody for visitation will be facilitated by a third party
  • Cannot possess firearms and there can’t be any firearms in her home at any time during her pretrial release
  • Cannot drink alcohol or take drugs that aren’t prescribed by a doctor
  • Must abide by all rules and regulations for the PSP and the CTC, including random drug testing
  • Subject to all reporting requirements for the CTC and PSP
  • Subject to home searches without a warrant by CTC officers, or any JSO officer conducting a search at the direction of CTC personnel, to ensure compliance with her pretrial release conditions

This story was published on The Grio from the original story on MSNBC. Additional information from News4Jax.com was added by the Bay View.

 

2 thoughts on “Marissa Alexander released from jail just in time for Thanksgiving

  1. serious2020

    I'm glad that Marissa Alexander is outside of a jail cell – however people should look very closely at the rules governing her subsequent house arrest.

    She's still in jail. She's subject to random home searches. I don't see anything that says that her ex-husband is prevented from going to her house. She is subject to random drug testing. She does not have custody of her children. Her divorce isn't finalized, and I do not see any orders that say she can attend any court hearings re: her divorce, should she choose – or be ordered by the courts – to do so.

    Her abusive ex-husband knows EXACTLY where she is, and knows that she cannot get away from him should he decide to continue to abuse her. She cannot move w/o "permission."

    She cannot leave her home for anything as mundane as a shopping trip, a movie, or a trip to the grocery store.

    This woman is still not free.

    Hope everyone recognizes that.

    Reply

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