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Marissa Alexander Wants “Do-Over” On Her Stand-Your-Ground Hearing

Marissa Alexander Wants “Do-Over” On Her Stand-Your-Ground Hearing

Facts in Evidence Unlikely to Support Immunity by Preponderance of the Evidence

Marissa Alexander appeared in court today as part of a pre-trial hearing in preparation for her re-trial on three counts of aggravated assault. The re-trial is scheduled to begin July 28, with jury selection to begin a week prior.

Prior to that, however, it appears that there will be a May 16 hearing to determine if Alexander can have a second shot at a self-defense immunity hearing (often erroneously referred to as a “stand-your-ground” hearing), as reported by News4Jax.

Under Florida’s self-defense immunity statute, 776.032 “Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force,” if a defendant can show by a preponderance of the evidence that their use of force against another was lawful under the state’s self-defense law framework, they are to be granted immunity from criminal sanction and civil liability.

Alexander had a self-defense immunity hearing prior to her initial trial, and her motion for immunity was denied. As well it should have been, as her conduct in shooting at her husband and his two small children does not begin to approach lawful self-defense, much less by a preponderance of the evidence.

We have previously covered the actual facts of her shooting at her husband and his children in numerous posts here at this blog, amongst those found here.

The self-defense immunity statute is sufficiently new that it’s an open question whether someone may seek a second shot at immunity.

What’s not much of an open question, however, is whether Alexander would qualify for immunity in the facts of this case, by a preponderance of the evidence. Color me very, very skeptical.


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Gremlin1974 | April 2, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Hey, if she gets a new trial then she gets a new trial. I don’t expect the outcome to be any different this time, though I do thing jury selection could be interesting with the amount of media attention her case has gotten.

Gremlin1974 | April 2, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Andrew on your post dated September 26, 2013 you wrote;
“Indeed, even though the appellate court ordered Alexander receive a new trial, they unanimously agreed that whatever evidence supported her claim to self-defense remained below that of a preponderance of the evidence, as they affirmed the trial court’s rejection of Alexander’s claim for self-defense immunity. Such immunity will therefore not be available for Alexander on her re-trial, as a matter of law.”

Has that changed now? If they are looking at another self defense hearing or is the hearing something of a formality that just has to be done?

I want a do over on my 3 felony speeding tickets and reckless driving tickets too but….ain’t happening.
damn …

    She’s 100% entitled to the new trial–the judge incorrectly instructed the jury, shifting the burden of persuasion on self-defense onto Alexander. Foul.

    The self-defense immunity hearing is another matter entirely. There’s not a scintilla of evidence there was anything defective about the first hearing.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      yeah but…I still want a do over and am not getting it.
      its not fair.
      I was only doing 153 in a 25, nothing too outrageous like shooting at someone 🙂

        and yeah, I am being foolish 🙂

        I like the traffic enforcement system in VA. Was going a leeetle too fast on the old motorcycle. Just about to mail in ticket and payment, VA lawyer sends me letter, “Hey, for $200, take online traffic safety test, we can make this go away.” And they did, dismissed.

        Sure, $200 was a bit more than the ticket fee.

        But here in MA, a single speeding ticket can easily cost you thousands of dollars in insurance surcharges, with NO WAY to wife it off your record for 3 years–and only then if you don’t happen to pick up another violation in those 3 years. If you DO get another ticket, clock starts over.

        Each ticket is a 15% surcharge. Own a couple of cars and a motorcycle, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.

        I’ll happily pay $200 and go online to escape THAT punitive hell, every time.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never gotten a speeding ticket I didn’t richly deserve (well, except that one time. OK, two times). And I do NOT mind paying the ticket. But when the cops become revenuers for the car insurance companies, aaaargh! 🙂

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          oh I deserved every single ticket I got and more lOL
          basically learned how to drive on the autobahn.
          there comes a time in a mans life when he has to show the guy with money and a camaro hes proud of with all the fancy parts that smart engine building can offset money 🙂
          when it takes 2 800cca baterries to turn the motor over you know theres a lot of static compression 🙂
          soo a planed, bored.stroked 302 hammered a roller rockered camaro.
          when I heard the cops on scanner after me saying we cannot begin to catch him but we know who he is I flagged them down and took the ticket, and avoided jail.
          the camaro could not even outrun the cruisers. he went to jail 🙂

          but I beat the camro 🙂

          and I won’t even talk about the rides on the zx9r or stage 4 zx1100r or the gsxr1100 we pulled off track to play with runs I did around town 🙂

          “… with NO WAY to wife it off your record …”

          Ex wife I hope.

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Andrew Branca. | April 4, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      That’s not quite correct, Team Corey tried to push the same definition of aggravated assault past Nelson in the Zimmerman trial. I think that it was something they were routinely doing doing till an appellate court stopped them. Seems kind of bad lawyering to me since they were risking a guilty verdict being overturned. Anything to put the thumb on the scale for Team Corey.

      Though Nelson did not buy it, and did not allow the instruction. ( Probably dus in part to West’s alertness ). So the judge gets some blame.

MouseTheLuckyDog | April 3, 2014 at 12:58 am

I must admit that I am curious about what arguments the defense ahs put in their brief. Hard to argue that the judge should revisit a ruling when nothing has changed.


It is a little off topic, but I have not heard much about the Merritt Landry shooting case in New Orleans. Do you know its status?

    I don’t have a thing on Landry in some weeks.

    Which is good for him, I would expect.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Gremlin1974 in reply to sequester. | April 4, 2014 at 2:03 am

    Last I heard the Grand jury ended their term without taking action one way or another in the Merritt Landry case. I don’t know for sure and I hate making predictions but it would seem to me if they can’t get the Grand Jury to indict then the Prosecutor is probably gonna feel like a conviction just isn’t in the cards. Though he could still charge on his own.