Marissa Alexander Update

[Content Note: Domestic violence; misogynoir; carcerality.

Marissa Alexander was, at long last, released yesterday, after "nearly three years in jail for firing a warning shot to fend off an attack from her abusive estranged husband."
She faced upwards of 60 years in prison, despite the fact that the shot harmed no one and was issued in defense of her life. But Marissa's early release isn't true justice.

...Marissa is now a convicted felon—a label she'll carry with her through every job application and rent application, and robs her of her right to vote in Florida. Not to mention her 'release' is conditioned on two more years of house arrest. All because she tried to fend off a man who sent her to the hospital bloodied and threatened to kill her in front of his children.
Additionally, Marissa Alexander will be forced to wear a surveillance ankle monitor, for which she will have to pay.

For this reason, and others, her release is not the end of the campaign for her freedom. Sumayya Coleman, co-lead of the Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign, said in a press release:
We are thrilled that Marissa will finally be reunited with her children, her family, and her community. Today's hearing revealed that Alexander intends to attend school to become a paralegal and she is a wonderful mother to her children who urgently need her. Amazingly, the State continued their campaign of punishment by trying to add two more years of probation. Fortunately, they failed, and Marissa will be released today!

Marissa and her family will need time to begin recovering from this arduous and traumatic experience. It's been a long and painful journey and, though her release from jail is definitely a win—no 60 years—the journey of seeking ultimate freedom is not over. Marissa will be forced to be on strict home detention while being under surveillance for two years. This is by no means freedom in the sense we feel she deserves.

Our next agenda is to seek full restoration for Marissa and her family, including the expunging of her so-called criminal record, and a systemic transformation that prevents black women and all survivors of domestic violence from experiencing the hostile and brutal treatment from policing, prosecution, and prison systems that Marissa has endured. We will push for improved legislation and monitoring of systems that penalize victims of domestic violence who choose to save their lives by force. This is by no means a conclusion.
To continue following Marissa Alexander's case, visit for updates.

Also from the press release: "Free Marissa Now notes that Alexander has asked supporters to use her case to bring more attention to women in similar circumstances, such as Tondalo Hall and Charmaine Pfender."

I am elated that Marissa Alexander will finally be home with her family, without a potential 60-year sentence hanging over her head. And I am angry that a black woman who legally exercised her Stand Your Ground right granted by her state is now a convicted felon being tracked for two years. That isn't freedom, and it isn't justice.

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