Marissa Alexander Now Faces 60 Years in Prison

The woman who was sentenced to 20 years in jail for firing a warning shot now faces 60 years in the retrial, from the same prosecutors who couldn't get a conviction for George Zimmerman.

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There was a bit of an outcry after Florida woman Marissa Alexander was found guilty of aggravated assault and sentenced to 20 years in jail for firing a warning shot at her abusive husband, especially when her Stand Your Ground claim was denied and George Zimmerman was acquitted for killing an unarmed black teenager. It sure seemed like a double standard; Alexander is black and she didn't hurt -- let alone kill -- anyone. Zimmerman is white and Trayvon Martin is dead.

Alexander was granted a retrial last September, building hope that she might not have to serve so much (or any) time after all. Alas, it seems things might actually be worse for Alexander than they were before: the state attorney is going to seek a 60 year sentence, because I guess Alexander was supposed to be happy with her 20 years and keep quiet.

The office of Angela Corey -- the woman who prosecuted the Zimmerman case -- said that if convicted, Alexander would serve three counts of aggravated assault (for her husband and his two children, who were in the house when she fired the gun) consecutively instead of concurrently, as she was doing before. This is because in between Alexander's first conviction and now, Florida's sentencing laws changed to require that multiple counts be served consecutively. Florida is great that way.

Of course, the assistant state attorney (the same one who tried to get Alexander thrown back in prison for violating her home detention rules in January, though a Sheriff's office gave her permission to do so) told the Florida Times-Union that if Alexander accepted a plea deal she could get a lighter sentence, but that so far "Ms. Alexander has rejected all efforts by the State to resolve the case short of trial."

The Free Marissa Now campaign called Corey's decision a "stunning abuse of power" and "a consequence of winning the appeal to hopefully secure a more fair trial."

Alexander's trial is set to begin July 28.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.