Civil Liberties

Marissa Alexander Takes Plea Deal in Florida "Warning Shot" Case; Three Years in Jail, Most Already Served


The Florida Times-Union reports on a not very happy, but not as bad as it could have been, end to the prosecution of Marissa Alexander for firing a gun (and injuring no one) when feeling threatened by her husband.

The details:

Two years after her case generated national attention, the criminal case against Marissa Alexander concluded Monday afternoon with a plea deal that will see her serve three years in prison.

Alexander gets credit for the 1,030 days she has already been locked up. She must serve 65 more days and will return to jail today. She will be released Jan. 27.

Alexander will stay in Duval County Jail. She will not go to a state prison.

State waived the minimum mandatory 20-year prison sentence under the deal….

Alexander also got two years of house arrest. She can leave the house to go to church, doctors' appointments and work…

Prosecutors said Alexander fired a shot in the direction of her estranged husband, Rico Gray, that she called a "warning shot." Prosecutors had said Gray's two children were next to him when the shot was fired, but Alexander disputed that and said they weren't in the room.

She faced three charges of aggravated assault with a weapon, and could have gotten 60 years in prison if convicted….

Alexander was originally convicted in 2012 and sentenced to 20 years in prison. The conviction was later overturned on appeal because the judge gave faulty jury instructions.

Jacob Sullum has reported early and often on this case and its implications for justice when it comes to using a weapon in a non-lethal way for self-defense for Reason; see all those clips.