Jacob Sullum on a Woman Who Faces a 20-Year Sentence for Standing Her Ground Against an Abusive Husband
"I got five baby mammas, and I put my hands on every last one of them except for one," Rico Gray confessed during a November 2010 deposition. "The way I was with women…they had to walk on eggshells around me." He recalled punching women in the face, shoving them, choking them, and tossing them out the door. Yet somehow, after one of those women fired a warning shot into the ceiling of her Jacksonville, Florida, home to scare him away during yet another violent outburst, prosecutors managed to convince a jury that Gray was the victim. As a result, says Senior Editor Jacob Sullum, Marissa Alexander, a 31-year-old mother of three, faces 20 years in prison for standing her ground against an abusive husband.