After the court ruled that the assigned judge did not correctly instruct the jury handling the case of Marissa Alexander, a U.S. appeals court is ordering a new trial for the African American woman from Florida, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Alexander, 32, reportedly fired a bullet at the ceiling because she felt threatened by her abusive husband, whom she had a protection order against. No one was injured, yet, according to MSNBC, it took only 12 minutes for the jury to convict her. The judge at her trial stated her conviction on aggravated assault with a deadly weapon carried a mandatory 20-year sentence under Florida state law.
Judge James H. Daniel, who received the petition surrounding Alexander’s sentence, stated:
We reject her contention that the trial court erred in declining to grant her immunity from prosecution under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, but we remand for a new trial because the jury instructions on self-defense were erroneous.
Daniel requested a retrial. A separate proceeding would determine whether Alexander could be let go on bail, pending that trial.