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Marissa Alexander Released on Bail

Marissa Alexander Released on Bail

Marissa Alexander has been released on bail, according to widespread news reports.  The conditions of her release are stringent, although not overly so for someone who has never been a very appropriate candidate for pre-(re-)-trial release.  Alexander had been previously convicted of aggravated assault with firearm enhancement under Florida’s 10-20-Life law, resulting in her 20-year mandatory sentence, after rejecting a 3-year plea deal.  Among the bail conditions:

  • Remain under the supervision of the pretrial services program at all times
  • Subject to electronic monitoring through the CTC at all times
  • Remain on home detention until completion of her case and will not be allowed to leave her residence except for court appearances, medical emergencies and to satisfy any requirements of PSP or the CTC
  • Report all required court appearances and all required appointments with he PSP or its designated service provider
  • Alexander cannot change her residence without prior notice and approval by the PSP or its designated service provider
  • Cannot have contact with, nor communicate by any means with Rico Gray, Sr., Pernell Gray and Rico Gray, Jr.
  • Alexander shall 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 shall be facilitated by a third party
  • Alexander shall not possess any firearms, nor shall there be any firearms in her residence at any time during her pretrial release
  • Shall not consume any alcoholic beverage or drug not prescribed by a physician
  • Must abide by all rules and regulations for the PSP and the CTC including random drug testing
  • Alexander shall be subject to warrantless searches of her residence by CTC officers or any JSO officer conducting such a search at the direction of CTC personnel, to ensure compliance with her pretrial release conditions

The actual court order granting bail can be read here:

The fact that the court was willing to grant bail (and the language of the order granting bail makes clear that doing so in a re-trial case following a prior conviction is not the norm), and that the prosecution did not argue with sufficient vigor to defeat the motion for bail, reinforces my belief that Alexander is not going to be treated with a lighter hand than the law allows.

In addition, the fact that bail was granted reinforces my expectation that Alexander will again be offered a plea deal, this time for (mostly) time served–and if she’s got the smarts of even a turnip she should grab the offer with both hands.

For previous reporting on the Marissa Alexander case on Legal Insurrection see:

No Bail for Marissa Alexander, Case Held Over Until January (11/13/13)

Marissa Alexander’s Bail Hearing in “Warning Shot” Case Delayed To Next Week (11/8/13)

The Myth of Marissa Alexander’s “Warning Shot” (9/27/13)

Marissa Alexander Wins a “Do-Over” in Florida “Self-Defense” Case (9/26/13)

The Marissa Alexander Case Wasn’t About “Stand-Your-Ground” Either (7/17/13)

Alexander’s re-trial, should it occur, is currently scheduled to begin March 31, 2014

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.


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Andrew — if she is offered a plea deal with time served, she would be beyond foolish not to accept the deal.

If HB 89 becomes law (use of warning shots), (and she does not take a plea) would you argue to the Court that the downward sentencing guidelines should apply since the trial took place after the law took effect?

    Retroactivity is not measured from when the trial takes, but from when the alleged offense occurred. In this case, of course, the offense occurred well before HB89 “was” (could be) made law.

    In any case, the courts almost never interpret a statute to apply retroactively, absent explicit direction from the legislature. The chaos that results is simply too great. And, in fairness, the defendant was judged on the basis of the law at the time of the offense, which hardly seems a travesty except where the applied law is truly morally reprehensible. The warning shot issue would not seem to fall into this category (although I suppose one could argue that the larger mandatory minimum scheme does, but that’s not really being substantively addressed by HB89).

    In any case, Alexander’s conduct was NOT a warning shot by any reasonable definition of the term. Even her proponents know this, and implicitly acknowledge as much by repeatedly claiming that “she only fired into the ceiling”, without noting that it was the ceiling of the next room, and on a path which came close to parting her husband’s hair.

    This is, in fact, arguably a meaningful problem with HB89, in that it doesn’t really define “warning shot” at all. But perhaps that’s reasonably a question left to the jury, based on the facts of a specific case.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

She can’t read cursive, Andrew.

Oh Wait!

Happy Thanksgiving, Amico.

nor shall there be any firearms in her residence at any time during her pretrial release

Alexander shall be subject to warrantless searches of her residence by CTC officers or any JSO officer conducting such a search at the direction of CTC personnel, to ensure compliance with her pretrial release conditions

For her sake I hope the Court implies exemption for the officers weapons, because I can readily believe that some DA would use that against her.

She’s not too smart, I think, attempting murder then pleading self-defense.

    No offense, but I take it you have limited experience interacting with criminal defendants. The degree of absolute self-deception and outrageous stupidity is beyond imagining.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      That explains why so many Dem poloticians end up in jail.

        Spiny Norman in reply to genes. | November 29, 2013 at 11:06 am

        Actually, genes, what’s “beyond imagining” is why so many Dem politicians don’t. Charlie Rangel, anyone?

      NavyMustang in reply to Andrew Branca. | November 29, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      LOL! Exactly! When I was a beat cop, we often remarked, in a lot saltier language than yours, that we would NEVER be out of a job. The bums I ran into were conniving, but no one ever accused them of being smart.

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