The bail hearing scheduled today for Marissa Alexander has been rescheduled for next Wednesday. No reason was given.

Marissa Alexander gained infamy for firing a “warning shot” past the head of her estranged husband during an argument, while his two small children stood at his side. The bullet passed closely by his head, pierced the wall immediately behind him, and embedded itself in the ceiling of the next room. He was not armed, nor was there any evidence that he had threatened her with deadly force.

Alexander was offered a plea deal for 3 years imprisonment, but she chose to take her case to the jury.  They deemed her conduct was not lawful self-defense, and therefore not justified.  They convicted her of aggravated assault.  Because she had fired a gun in the course of committing her crime, Florida’s “10-20-Life” statute (775.087 Possession or use of weapon; aggravated battery; felony reclassification; minimum sentence) mandated a minimum sentence of 20-years imprisonment.

On appeal her original conviction was overturned because of a meaningful error in the jury instructions on self-defense, but it seems likely the outcome will be the same if brought to a second jury trial, even with corrected instructions.  If another plea agreement is offered, it would seem prudent of her to accept.

Legal Insurrection has covered the Marissa Alexander case in numerous other posts, including:

The Myth of Marissa Alexander’s “Warning Shot”

Marissa Alexander Wins a “Do-Over” in Florida “Self-Defense” Case

The Marissa Alexander Case Wasn’t About “Stand-Your-Ground” Either

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, Law of Self Defense Facebook

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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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