Stand Your Ground (Not So Fast, Ladies)

[Content Note: Violence; domestic abuse.]

Hey, you know how I keep harping like the broken record that I am about Stand Your Ground laws being inherently corrupt by virtue of the inevitability of unequal application in a kyriarchal culture...?

Florida Woman Facing Jail Time After Defending Herself Against Domestic Violence:
A Florida woman is facing 20 years in prison after being convicted on three counts of Aggravated Assault for firing a gun in the air to scare off her abusive husband. Marissa Alexander was arrested in August 2010 after a fight with her husband, who she says was abusive for many years. She said in court documents that she tried to escape after her husband strangled her but she was unable to get out of the locked garage so she grabbed her gun instead. No one was hurt when she shot at the ceiling.

Alexander's lawyer said he did not use the Battered Spouse defense because it is a psychiatric defense that requires an expert to testify. Instead, he based Alexander's defense on Florida's Stand Your Ground law.
But apparently being victimized "for many years" by a man on whom Alexander had taken out an order of protection (he had one on her, too) did not constitute a "reasonable belief" that he was going to hurt her.

Marissa Alexander is an African-American woman.

The judge in the case dismissed the motion for immunity under Florida's Stand Your Ground statue, so Alexander will now face trial. Part of the judge's reasoning for dismissing the motion was that Alexander should have left the house, despite the fact that the Stand Your Ground statute includes no duty to retreat.

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