Saturday, November 17, 2012

Justice For Marissa Banner

Pacific Northwest Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander

The Pacific Northwest Alliance to Free Marissa organized to create a banner and display it above a busy freeway in Seattle Washington on October 29th.  Special thanks to Helen Gilbert for organizing this event.

Take a Stand against Domestic Violence!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Take a Stand against Domestic Violence!

Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Take a Stand against Domestic Violence!
Monday, October 29, 7:00-8:30am

Join the Pacific NW Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander in bannering to demand an end to violence against women and a pardon for Ms. Alexander, found guilty of assault for attempting to defend herself against her abusive husband. Alexander, an African American mother living in Florida, fired a warning shot to back off her attacker. Though no one was hurt, she was denied a "stand your ground defense" and sentenced to 20 years.

Gather at the Madison St. overpass of I-5 in downtown Seattle.

Monday, October 8, 2012

From Marissa to Everyone

Hello Everyone,
I want to thank each and every one of you for writing me, praying for me or even thinking of me in your heart and are continuing to do so.  For the most part, I’m hanging in there, as well as one could in this environment.  Prison is definitely NOT what’s happening.  It’s dreadful here, but hey, it’s suppose to be, it is after all captivity.  My good days out weigh my bad days only because God is my source of strength.  Please know that you all inspire me thru your communication and please know that the prayers that you offer up on my behalf are being answered.  I’m so very blessed to have some of the most extraordinary people and organizations who are committed to supporting and encouraging me in every way.
I will continue to believe in our justice system.  I choose to do so because I have complete trust in God, and we are still a nation that has this fundamental belief embedded in our core, displayed in our courtrooms and written on our money, and more hopefully in our hearts.
Truly I couldn’t begin to express to you how much I appreciate your wonderful letters of encouragement.  Please know that I do not take your time and kindness for granted.  Your heart-felt concern I am most grateful for.
With all sincerity & respect,
Marissa Alexander

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Night of Global Remembrance in Olympia, WA


Night of Global Remembrance

Rally and 24 hour Candlelight Vigil in Support of Freedom for Marissa Alexander and victims of Domestic Abuse


Percival Landing, Downtown  in Olympia, WA 

For more information:
Allan Hill
(360) 705-0922 (R)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tax Deductible Donations For The Marissa Alexander Legal Defense Fund

Marissa Alexander is very fortunate to have a great team of Pro Bono attorneys however; there are many additional legal expenses.  Donations for Marissa Alexander's Legal Defense are now tax deductible. (June 6, 2012)

Payments are accepted via several methods:

  • US Mail - paper checks
        Global Alliance, Inc.
        For: The Marissa Alexander Legal Defense Fund
        Global Alliance, Inc.
        P.O. Box 290956
        Columbia, SC 29229
  • Pay Pal 
  • We Pay

Tuesday, May 29, 2012



Contact: Michael G. Dowd, Esq.
Phone: (212) 751-1640

Contact: Lincoln Alexander
Phone:    641-715-3900 ext.: 115615


(New York, New York) – 5/29/2012 – Attorney Michael G. Dowd brings over 30 years to the table in defending battered women. Dowd is known to have an exceptional history in fighting for battered women and feels that Marissa Alexander's case is one of the worse examples of domestic and judicial abuse that he's encountered.

Marissa Alexander suffered extensive beatings by her husband and has most recently been beaten up by the Florida judicial system. Alexander was handed a 20 year sentence on May 11, 2012 as a result of firing a warning shot into the wall. Alexander feels that the shot saved her life - it scared off her obsessively abusive husband. The incident occurred just days after giving birth.

Attorney Michael Dowd's legal advocacy efforts have attracted support globally. His dedication to fighting for battered women brings years of expertise to the movement for Marissa Alexander's Freedom. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Justice For Marissa March & Rally May 29th Jacksonville Florida

Marissa Alexander, a mother of 3, MBA (Masters of Business Administration), had no prior criminal record; was attacked by her husband who has a known and documented history of domestic abuse on August 1, 2010.  Marissa was arrested after she fired a warning shot into the wall - after her husband threatened to kill her.

Join us on May 29th, 2012 at Hemming Plaza in Jacksonville, Florida at 8:00AM sharp as we march to the new courthouse. Speakers, Musical tributes & much more.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Rally/March May 29, 2012 Jacksonville Florida

March and Rally

Date:   May 29, 2012
Time:   8:00AM
Place: Hemming Plaza - Jacksonville, Florida

  •  Marissa Alexander is a victim of domestic violence who fired a warning shot into a wall because she was afraid of another attack by her abusive husband. NO ONE GOT HURT!
  • A year earlier, an attack by her husband sent Marissa to emergency room and resulted in a restraining order against him. This was not his first domestic violence offense. 
  •  Minutes before the incident, her husband told her “if I can’t have you, nobody is going to have you.” She shot at the wall as he approached her.
  • Ms. Alexander was arrested for Aggravated Domestic Assault under Florida Statute 784.021(2), which is a third degree felony carrying a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison.
  • Based on this charge, she probably would have received one year in the county jail because she had no prior criminal record.
State Attorney Angela Corey’s office had the sole discretion to add Florida’s 10-20-Life enhancement (F.S.775.087(2)(a)2.) to increase the minimum sentence to 20 years. FACT CHECK ON THE CHARGES AGAINST MARISSA ALEXANDER Ms. Alexander, a mother of 3, who currently holds a Master’s Degree and had no prior criminal record; was attacked by her husband who has a known and documented history of domestic abuse on August 1, 2010. Alexander was arrested after she fired a warning shot into the wall after her husband threatened to kill her.

Marissa desperately needs help paying legal expenses.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Message of Thanks From Marissa Alexander

I would like to whole heartedly express my sincerest and immense gratitude for each and every person who has supported me in any form available to you.  I can tell you all that my conscience is clear and I can look in the mirror and love what I see and who I am because I have maintained my innocence and more importantly I am a daughter of the most high.  Moving forward, as facts come out and discussions happen and certain aspects spark dialogue, I ask that you try and place yourself in my situation, or perhaps, your daughter, sister, mother or friend.  This could have been anyone and it truly has been anyone and countless others that have been, can be or will be affected with issues similar to mine on one scale or another because my story is multi-dimensional.  So I leave you with this thought, please continue to do everything you are doing to support this and more.  Be cautious of the games of those that oppose, and that is to have everyone running around with fire extinguishers when there really is a flood.  Again, thank you for your support. 
                                                            -Marissa Alexander

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Congressman Corrine Brown on Marissa Alexander (Jacksonville, FL) Ruling

Congresswoman Corrine Brown Deplores Marissa Alexander Ruling (Washington, DC) Congresswoman Brown made the following statement: Earlier today, I watched in horror and extreme sadness as a judge sentenced Marissa Alexander, a documented victim of domestic violence, to a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison for firing warning shot into the air after she was attacked by her husband. This African American woman didn’t hurt anyone and now she might not hug her children for twenty years.

 The imbalance in this case was abundantly clear in the courtroom. On the State’s Attorney side of the room, I saw nine prosecutors and twenty officers. On Marissa’s side, I saw a lone defense attorney doing his best in what clearly an unfair fight. My first step in this case will be to bring in the nation’s best experts in domestic violence law. The Florida criminal justice system has sent two clear messages today. One is that if women who are victims of domestic violence try to protect themselves, the “Stand Your Ground Law” will not apply to them. Just minutes before the incident, Marissa’s husband told her “if I can't have you, nobody going to have you.” Millions of abused women have heard those words. Abused women like Marissa, who has a master’s degree and no prior record, need support and counseling so they don’t find themselves in these situations to begin with.

 Arresting and prosecuting them when no one was hurt does not help anyone. Even worse, mandatory minimum sentences just make the system appear arbitrary and cruel. The second message is that if you are black, the system will treat you differently. A mere fifty miles away in Sanford Florida, a white man who shot a black teenager and claimed self-defense was not even arrest until community leaders and people around the world expressed their outrage. I have spoken to countless lawyers and they have yet to discover any cases in Florida where an African American was able to successfully use the “Stand Your Ground Law” defense in a hearing.” Another step I will take is to call for a study into racial disparities in the application of this law. What I didn’t see in the courtroom today is mercy or justice. The three year plea deal from Angela Corey is not mercy and a mandatory twenty year sentence is not justice. I hope that the people will come to Marissa’s defense as the system has so utterly failed her. This is just the beginning, not the end.

Monday, May 7, 2012

WIS Marissa Alexander's Father and Step Mother - Interview

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A mother of three is looking at spending at least the next 20 years in prison for what she describes as "standing her ground."
It's a case that's just starting to make national news -- given the similarities to the Trayvon Martin case.
How are the two cases similar? Marissa Alexander's family claims that she was protecting and defending herself on her own property.
Alexander, 31, who is a licensed weapons holder, says she took a stand against her abusive husband at their home 2 years ago and now she's being punished.
Her father, Raoul Jenkins, who lives in Columbia, says he didn't know half of what was going on with his oldest daughter in Jacksonville, Florida until she went on trial for her life.
"She told me why she did not tell me or her brother, which is my oldest son here in Columbia, because we would have went down there," Jenkins said.
According to court documents, Alexander's husband, Rico Gray, had a history of domestic violence toward her and other women. They were married in mid-May. Jenkins says he went down in June to get her to move out.
"I told her at that time, 'Marissa, if I'm coming down there, this is it, you make sure you press charges because he has no business -- no man should hit a woman. Make sure you press charges because I'm not going to run back and forth to Jacksonville because you're going back to him. I don't want that to happen,'" Jenkins said.
Unbeknownst to him, Alexander says the abuse continued. In August 2010, another incident happened. This time, fearing for her life, she got her gun from her glove compartment and fired a warning shot in her ceiling. No one was hurt, but she was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.
"When you're the abuser and you turn around and make the victim the bad guy and when the system allows that to happen, that's a sad story," Jenkins said.
Alexander's stepmother, Karen Jenkins, says she doesn't know why stand your ground is not a valid defense.
"If [George] Zimmerman, who killed someone -– an unarmed innocent child -– and was given that right, why couldn't someone that had documented in the system, been abused, said she was fearful of her life, why was she denied that right?" Karen said.

A judge said Alexander had other options and could have escaped out of a window or front door and she did not have to fire that shot.
"The whole family was devastated," Karen said. 
Alexander had a protection order out against her husband that was active at the time of incident. She was supposed to be sentenced Monday for the aggravated assault charges, but the judge delayed it since her attorney has filed motions for a new trial.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Our Common Ground Interview

Listen to a live inteview with Marissa's family discussing the case with Janice Graham. Saturday May 11 @ 2PM
Caller Line: 347-838-9852

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Alexander Case Shows Need to Reform 10-20-Life Law

d to form 10-20-Life Law
For Immediate Release
 April 24, 2012
Contact: Monica Pratt Raffanel,

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums) President Julie Stewart today called on Florida lawmakers to repeal the state’s “10-20-Life” automatic prison sentence for assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. The call comes as Marissa Alexander, a 31-year-old mother of three, prepares to be sentenced for a 2010 incident in which she fired a gun into the ceiling of her house to persuade her abusive husband to leave.

“A lot of attention has been paid to Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law and far too little to the state’s extreme, one-size-fits-all sentencing laws,” Ms. Stewart said. “Less than three years ago, Orville Lee Wollard, a lawful gun owner, fired a warning shot in his home to chase off a young man who had been abusing his teenage daughter. After Wollard rejected a plea deal and a jury rejected Wollard’s self-defense claim, a Florida judge was forced by the state’s mandatory minimum sentencing law for assault to send Wollard to prison for 20 years. Mr. Wollard’s judge stated that he thought the sentence was excessive, but said his hands were tied.

“In the coming weeks, Marissa Alexander, who was also found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon, will likely be sentenced to the same 20-year mandatory minimum prison term. While reasonable people can disagree on whether Mr. Wollard or Ms. Alexander deserve any prison time for their conduct, no one can honestly believe that these were the types of cases the legislature had in mind when it passed the 10-20-Life automatic gun sentence,” Stewart said.
According to press reports and court records, Ms. Alexander’s husband, Rico Gray, abused her on more than one occasion before the incident that led to her conviction. Mr. Gray described one incident of abuse in a deposition, saying, “And the third incident (with Alexander) we was staying together and I pushed her back and she fell in the bathtub and hit her head and I-- you know, by the time I ran downstairs and got in my car to leave, you know, that's the time I went to jail, the police picked me up down the street.”

In that same deposition, Mr. Gray admitted that he threatened his wife’s safety on the day she fired the gun into the ceiling. He also admitted that Ms. Alexander never aimed her gun at him (or his two children who were also present). According to Mr. Gray, after she told him to leave her house and he refused, she discharged the gun into the ceiling and no one was hurt. He later called the police and told them what had happened. Ms. Alexander was arrested and charged with three counts of aggravated assault (one count related to her husband, and two more for her stepsons). Ms. Alexander strongly maintains her innocence.

Greg Newburn, director of FAMM’s Florida project, said, “Based on everything we have heard to this point, we believe that sending Marissa Alexander to prison for 20 years would be a tremendous injustice and a colossal waste of Florida taxpayers’ hard-earned money.
“This is not an issue about race – it’s about individualized justice. Ms. Alexander is black, but Orville Lee Wollard is white. Rather, this is another, powerful example of how inflexible sentencing laws prevent courts from considering highly relevant circumstances, such as whether the offender is a hardened criminal or a first-time offender and whether someone was motivated by malice or genuine fear,” said Newburn.

For more information on Marissa Alexander’s case, see news articles in the Florida Times-UnionInternational Business Times, and Loop 21.

For more information on Orville Lee Wollard’s case, see his profile and an op-ed by Ms. Stewart that appeared in The Washington Times. For another case involving an excessive sentence imposed under the 10-20-life mandatory gun law, see FAMM’s profile of Erik Weyant.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

In The State Of Florida - Marissa Alexander Had A Gun Permit, Stood Her Ground, Did Not Shoot Or Kill Anyone and Faces 20 Years In Prison

Lincoln B. Alexander Jr on behalf of Marissa Alexander
Case No: 2010-CF-8579
Division: CR-G

April 3, 2012

Dear Supporters:

On August 1 2010, my premature baby girl, born nine days earlier, was in the Baptist South N.I.C.U. fighting for her life and I would too be fighting for my life in my own home against an attack from my husband.
My name is Marissa Alexander, I am a mother of three children, but at the present time, I am not able to be with them due to the following circumstances.  I am currently sitting in the Pretrial Detention Facility in Jacksonville FL, Duval County awaiting a sentence for three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon with no intent to harm.  Before my life changed drastically on that August afternoon, I was in the perilous position of leaving an abusive relationship with my husband who has history of violence and documented domestic abuse towards women.  Our history included one which required me to place an injunction for protection against violence and was active during the month of August 2010.
In an unprovoked jealous rage, my husband violently confronted me while using the restroom.  He assaulted me, shoving, strangling and holding me against my will, preventing me from fleeing all while I begged for him to leave.  After a minute or two of trying to escape, I was able to make it to the garage where my truck was parked, but in my haste to leave I realized my keys were missing.  I tried to open the garage but there was a mechanical failure. I was unable to leave, trapped in the dark with no way out.  For protection against further assault I retrieved my weapon; which is registered and I have a concealed weapon permit.  Trapped, no phone, I entered back into my home to either leave through another exit or obtain my cell phone.
He and my two stepsons were supposed to be exiting the house thru the front door, but he didn’t leave.  Instead he came into the kitchen that leads to the garage and realized I was unable to leave.  Instead of leaving thru the front door where his vehicle was parked outside of the garage, he came into the kitchen by himself.  I was terrified from the first encounter and feared he came to do as he had threatened.  The weapon was in my right hand down by my side and he yelled, “Bitch I will kill you!”, and charged toward me.  In fear and desperate attempt, I lifted my weapon up, turned away and discharged a single shot in the wall up in the ceiling.  As I stood my ground it prevented him from doing what he threatened and he ran out of the home.  Outside of the home, he contacted the police and falsely reported that I shot at him and his sons.  The police arrived and I was taken into custody.
I was devastated and would continue to be for months following the incident.  I had to appear in court all the way up until trial as I plead not guilty and know that I acted in self-defense.  I believe my actions saved my life or prevented further harm, but preserved that of my husband who was completely irrational, extremely violent, and unpredictable that day.
Florida has a self-defense law and it includes the right to stand your ground.  Below are the facts of my concern with the incorrect way the law was applied and ultimately the injustice in my case.
·        The alleged victim, my husband, under sworn statement in November 2010, admitted he was the aggressor, threatened my life and was so enraged he didn’t know what he would do.
·        The alleged victim, my husband, was arrested for domestic violence two times, once for abuse against me.  The attack against me was so violent; I ended up in the hospital.
·        Prior to my arrest, I told the office I was in fear for my life due to the prior violence against me.  I also told the officer there was a domestic injunction in place to protect me against abuse from the alleged victim.  This information was written in detail by the officer in my arrest report, but ignored for some unknown reason.
·        In July of 2011, a hearing was held, where I along with the alleged victims testified as it relates to the stand your ground law and its immunity from prosecution.
·        After the hearing, Judge Elizabeth Senterfitt denied my motion, citing that I could have exited the house thru the master bedroom window, front door, and/or sliding glass back door.  The law specifically states: No duty to retreat.
·        My attorney entered a standing objection on the record to the ruling and we proceeded to trial.
·        During that time, Angela Corey, our State Attorney met with the alleged victims.  I also along with my attorney met with Angela Corey, John Guy, and then prosecutor Christen Luikart.  I justified my actions to them and the truth as I have told it has remained the same.
·        Knowing our prior domestic abuse history, Angela Corey was hard pressed for the minimum mandatory, which provisions allow for prosecution to wave those stipulations.  I was not guilty, nor did I believe that was fair and just under the circumstances.  She also allowed for those same provisions in the State vs. Vonda Parker, same charges different circumstances which did not include self-defense.
·        Florida uses a law commonly known as 10-20-life as a sentencing guideline when a felony takes place with the use of a weapon.  Under this statute, my felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to harm carries a twenty year mandatory sentence.
·        Stand your ground law has been applied in multiple recent incidents, the following is just a couple of incidents.  Carl Kroppman Jr was allowed to use this law to avoid being arrested/charged during a road rage incident on the Buckman Bridge in Jacksonville, FL in August of 2011.  Marqualle Woolbright of Ocala, FL avoided murder charges due to the stand your ground law when he shoot and killed someone.
I am a law abiding citizen and I take great pride in my liberty, rights, and privileges as one.  I have vehemently proclaimed my innocence and my actions that day.  The enigma I face since that fateful day I was charged through trial, does the law cover and apply to me too?
A step further and more importantly is in light of recent news, is justice for all include everyone, regardless of gender, race or aristocratic dichotomies.  I simply want my story heard, reviewed and the egregious way in which my case was handled from start to finish serve as an eye opener for all and especially those responsible for upholding judicial affairs.
The threat that day was very real, imminent, and the battery on me occurred minutes before the decision I made to protect myself.  That decision was a last resort, necessary and a reaction to the continued threat on my life.  I am a believer that grace allowed for my response to be carried out in a non-lethal manner.  This prevented the imminent threat and harm a non-fatal tactic, but not against an unknown attacker, rather my very own husband.  That was by far the most difficult position to be in nine days after giving birth to a six week premature infant.  My heart goes out for my two stepsons and always has had a hurt and sincere empathy for them being subjected innocently to that trauma.

The law states that I was justified in standing my ground and meeting force with force up to including deadly force, but political views and concerns states otherwise in the 4th circuit court.
So my last questions and valid concerns are what was I supposed to do that day and the stand your ground law who is it for?

Lincoln B. Alexander Jr on behalf of Marissa Alexander