How can I help Marissa Alexander stand her ground?
July 16, 2013 8:11 AM   Subscribe

What can an ordinary 20-something do to help Marissa Alexander who was sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot?

I'm aware of this Facebook Group "SupportForMarissaAlexander" and this petition "PARDON Marissa Alexander for Standing Her Ground" There must be more, is there a fund for an appeal? Someone I can write a letter to?

Please note my knowledge and experience with this kind of law is practically zero. If legal terms are required, explain it to me like I'm a five year old.
posted by rip to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Are you from Florida? If so, write to your congressman, your senator, your state officials, your local officials, and write every local paper's editor. If not, do the same where you live, though it will have less impact. Write to the local news sites and blogs offering a long thoughtful opinion about why this is a tragedy. Start a crowdfunding campaign through a site that allows it to pay for her legal defenses. Post all of those efforts in that Facebook group. Support others who support her. Start other social media accounts supporting her. Use your own SM networks to keep the story about her alive, retweet articles and comments about it, etc.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:35 AM on July 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

The law that Ms. Alexander was sentenced under is a Florida statute called 10-20-Life. The statute requires that anyone who commits a felony while possessing a firearm receives a mandatory 10 year sentence, anyone who fires that firearm receives a mandatory 20 year sentence, and anyone who shoots someone (regardless of the seriousness of the injury) gets a mandatory life sentence. That's the law that needs to change in order to prevent future cases like this one. And if the change in the law included retroactivity, Ms. Alexander would be able to petition for re-sentencing.

The reason I know all of this is because of the good people at Families Against Mandatory Minimums. Their Florida chapter has been doing phenomenal work to bring attention to this case and to advocate for changes to the law. I'd see if you can volunteer for or contribute to them. They're not only trying to help Ms. Alexander, but also trying to help the millions of other people who have received mandatory minimum sentences that may not reflect just punishments for what they actually did.
posted by decathecting at 8:39 AM on July 16, 2013 [12 favorites]

You could also write her a letter to ask about these things:

Marissa Alexander 2012033887
500 E Adams St
Jacksonville, Fl 32202

posted by oceanjesse at 8:42 AM on July 16, 2013

Response by poster: Potomac Avenue, good point, I'm not from Florida.

Oceanjesse, I figured Ms. Alexander was being barraged with letters and am hoping to find a statement from her explaining what she would like people to do, but if not writing a letter is next on the list. :-)

Awesome information, go AskMeFi.
posted by rip at 9:07 AM on July 16, 2013

There's an article here ( on why her attempt to use the stand your ground law failed. You could campaign for the scope of the law to be expanded to include her situation?
posted by JonB at 9:14 AM on July 16, 2013

You can contact her lawyer to ask what she would like people to do.
posted by *s at 9:39 AM on July 16, 2013 [3 favorites] is not an unbiased source of journalism - it is sponsored by the explicitly right-wing American Majority. Sean Davis, the author of that article, is not a lawyer nor, as far as I can tell, a law expert.
posted by muddgirl at 11:21 AM on July 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

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