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Stand your ground is selective

Written by: Jessica Cooke

For the past couple of months, guns have been a hot topic in our society.

The discussion ranges from Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law to the introduction of guns on public campuses under the argument of self-defense. Although guns are accepted according to the law, those laws aren’t fair to citizens who use their guns respectfully or to citizens who abuse their gun rights.

In 2012, 32-year-old Jacksonville, Fla. native Marissa Alexander was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Alexander fired warning shots toward the wall of her garage while attempting to escape abuse of her husband.

Although her case is set for a July retrial, the court is looking to charge her with three counts of aggravated assault due to her husband’s two sons being in the room at the time the shots were fired.

Prior to this case were the cases of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis. These teenagers were shot and killed by two separate white men, one getting away with murder and the other serving time for only second degree murder. If Alexander is convicted of this crime, she will be facing up to 60 years in prison, which is almost equivalent to life.

How is it that she shot out of fear just like Zimmerman and Dunn, but faces the possibility of life in prison for not killing anybody?

Angela Corey, prosecutor for the State of Florida, worked on Alexander’s case as well as Zimmerman’s.

“She put a round in the chamber, and she fired that shot out of anger, not fear,” Corey said in the July 2013 issue of the Washington Post. “She didn’t need to use that gun. Those kids were scared to death. They ran for their lives.”

During her first trial, the court required Alexander to prove her case of abuse, but she was denied protection under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Alexander’s husband, Rico Gray, even testified and gave the same account of the events, but she has still failed to gain justice.

Among these cases lies suspicion of a racial and gender bias in today’s society. The issue stands out strong and bold, and our fellow citizens are striving to bring the issue to the attention of the justice system through petitions, social media debates and public riots.

It’s truly embarrassing to have troops participating in war, defending the same country that kills off the youth and has a justice system that fails to provide justice.

What honest protection is left for citizens now?

The justice system makes laws proposing murders and wrongfully makes convictions−or doesn’t make them at all. Nevertheless, by people making their voice heard and giving support to families who are victims to this injustice, the system could possibly change.

It’s strongly encouraged for every person and student to speak out and reach out.

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4 comments

  1. I feel the need to correct a few errors in this opinion piece. Some might call them lies.
    1) Zimmerman isn’t White. He’s Hispanic. That’s not a choice that I made for him, it’s how he identifies himself. You might say that he’s half White, and you’d be correct. So is Obama, yet I have yet to see anyone, anywhere, at anytime identify him as White.
    2) Zimmerman didn’t commit murder. He defended himself. The man made a bad choice in following Martin, but then again… Martin made a worse choice in attacking George Zimmerman. Following someone isn’t illegal. Assault and battery is.
    3) Neither Zimmerman or Dunn every used the Stand Your Ground law as a defense. Those that keep repeating this lie should be ashamed of themselves. It’s obvious that they are pushing an agenda, and honesty is not part of it.
    4) 1st degree murder generally indicates that there was some planning involved. 2nd degree murder usually (state laws vary) indicates that it was more of a heat of the moment crime. If Angela Corey would stop trying to over prosecute crimes for politics then she might get a more reasonable conviction.
    5) It has been reported time and time again that Alexander left the house, went out to her car, retrieved her handgun, went back into the house, and fired the gun into the wall next to her husbands head… while he stood next to his kid. Was it a warning shot or a lucky miss? I don’t know. I do know that it’s not even close to “Standing Your Ground.” Those that keep citing this case, are nothing but race pimps and parasites pushing an agenda.
    I’ll say it again, whoever wrote this opinion piece needs a few facts to go with her opinions. A little truth wouldn’t hurt either.

  2. The reason Melissa Alexander is being tried the way she is, is not because she is black. It is because she left the interior of the home, retrieved her firearm, and then re-entered the home. That is not SYG in any interpretation of the law. Mr. Dunn was convicted of the appropriate crime. 1st degree murder is also known as premeditated murder. The state would of had to prove that Dunn, set out that evening with the intention of killing Jordan Davis.

    • Chas hit the nail on the head. Alexander wasn’t convicted because she was black, she was convicted because she left the scene of the altercation, retrieved her gun, then returned to use it. If she was truly in fear, she could have just left and called police.

      The only real interest in this case is to try to prove that the SYG law is racist because Alexander was convicted while Zimmerman wasn’t, ignoring the different facts in the two cases.

  3. “Alexander fired warning shots toward the wall of her garage while attempting to escape abuse of her husband.”

    She might have been able to sell the warning shot story if she had shot at say, the ceiling or the floor. But when the “warning shot” goes into the wall next to the person’s head, then you can justifiably ask, was it a warning shot? Or just poor marksmanship?

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