Florida pastors have written a letter to the Jacksonville, Fl. Attorney’s Office to persuade them to offer Marissa Alexander, the woman who received a 20-year sentence for firing a warning shot, a plea deal.
In addition, they are urging Alexander to take that deal. A similar plea that would have landed her in jail for three years was offered during her first trial, but she declined. A jury found her guilty within 12-minutes.
The Florida Times-Union reports the pastors are calling for State Attorney Angela Corey to offer the plea in order for the community to move on and deal with other violent crimes.
“Given that she’s been granted a chance at a retrial, she should have the chance at a redo,” said the Rev. Mark Griffin of Wayman Ministries.
The Rev. Marvin McQueen II of First Missionary Baptist Church in Jacksonville Beach said the city needs to address its growing crime problem, and that is difficult with the Alexander case sucking up all the attention.
“This is a chance to begin the healing and benefit the community,” he said.
The Rev. Kenneth Adkins of Greater Dimensions Christian Fellowship in Brunswick, Ga., said black-on-black crime needs to be addressed and the pastors need to discuss ways to find improvement with law enforcement. He said that becomes easier if the Alexander case is done.
“The city isn’t getting a chance to heal,” Adkins said.
If you recall, Corey, who also represented the state in the George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn trials, will attempt to put Alexander behind bars for 60 years if she is found guilty during her retrial. But according to the Florida Times-Union, if the same plea deal was offered now, Alexander would likely be a free woman in a matter of months because of time already served.
She was in jail and prison from February 2011 to November 2013. She was released on bond last year after her conviction was overturned after an appeals court ruled the judge improperly instructed the jury on how it should consider her claims of self-defense.
All of which sounds better than 60-years in prison for acting in self-defense. But we can’t help but feel the shade coming from Florida pastors who believe Alexander’s case isn’t a violent crime (Alexander claimed she shot the warning shot to protect herself from an abusive husband) that needs attention.
After all, if they want to battle the state’s unrelenting crime, the flawed Stand Your Ground law (which was used in Alexander’s case) is a good place to start.
SOURCE: Times-Union | VIDEO SOURCE: News, Inc.