I am reposting my friend, Rev. Mark Koenig’s important post on Marissa Alexander. Click here for the original post.
I signed a petition asking Florida Governor Rick Scott to free Marissa Alexander. Marissa acted to defend herself from her abusive estranged husband … she fired a warning shot … she hurt no one … and now she is in prison. Here is how the organizers of the petition describe the situation:
In August 2010, Marissa Alexander defended herself from further violence by her abusive estranged husband in their home by firing a warning shot toward the ceiling. No one was injured by the shot fired to save her life. Without bond to care for her premature nursing daughter, in May 2012, Marissa was wrongly convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Under Florida’s mandatory minimum sentencing law, Marissa was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in prison. Marissa had a restraining order against the serial abuser, a legally licensed gun and permit, and no criminal history. Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law did not work for her in the way it worked for Trayvon Martin’s killer which raises serious concerns of discrimination against Marissa. It appears that stereotypes about Black women project them as aggressors even when defending their lives upon deadly attack. Something has to be done regarding all women who defend themselves against their abusers. Too often they receive little understanding and sympathy from the systems charged with demonstrating justice.
I signed. Will you?
Here is some more information about Marissa Alexander, the woman serving 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot as a way of defending herself from her abusive husband:
Anderson Cooper and some others offer coverage of her story.
Like the Free Marissa Now Facebook page.
Sign the petition to Florida Governor Rick Scott.
If you are being abused, or know someone in an abusive situation, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE.
Learn more about the work of Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence. There are lots of other good groups out there working to end domestic violence. Support their work.
[Read also: Race Baiting]
Rev. Mark Koenig is the Director of the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations. You can keep up with him by following his blog, Along the Greybeard Trail.