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Woman Who Inspired “Warning Shot” Legislation Enters Plea

November 25th, 2014 by Mike Vasilinda

The Jacksonville area woman who inspired legislation allowing the use of warning shots instead of deadly force has entered a plea deal instead of facing a possible 60 years behind bars. The NRA says the case of Marissa Alexander has been unjust since the beginning.

In July 2010, Marissa Alexander fired a shot in the direction of her now ex-husband.  Prosecutors claimed it was out of anger, not self defense. Two years later, she was given 20 years for firing a gun under the states 10-20-Life law.

“32 yeas, 7 nays, Mr. President. And so the bill passes.”

It was that sentence that inspired state lawmakers earlier this year to pass what has been dubbed the warning shot, or threatened use of force legislation. The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Greg Evers of Milton. “This is about self defense. This is about the right thing to do” said Evers as the bill passed the Senate on April 3rd of this year.

The NRA’s Marion Hammer, who helped shepard the bill through the legislature says Alexander should never have been charged. “Because, 10-20-Life was never intended to be used in cases of self defense, and this clearly was a self defense case,”

A year ago, Alexander was released on bail and put on house arrest pending a new trial.   This time around she faced sixty years. So, on Monday, she appeared in court and agreed to serve three years on aggravated assault charges. She is expected to be released in January. Hammer says Alexander did what was right for herself and her children. “Why should she be the standard bearer for changing a law and be punished just to affect the kind of change that needs to be made.”

The warning shot legislation inspired by Alexander became law in June, and while she still faces some time in prison, others will not.

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