Marissa Alexander

In the May 2015 issue of Essence Magazine, Marissa Alexander shares her story:
In Her Own Words: Marissa Alexander Tells Her Story

Timeline: The Criminalization of Marissa

2009: Marissa receives court injunction after batterer is arrested for domestic violence.

August 1, 2010: Nine days after giving birth to a premature daughter, Marissa is attacked by her abusive estranged husband at their shared home. Marissa retrieved her lawfully registered gun and fired a warning shot upwards into a wall to prevent him from beating her to death. No one was injured by her warning shot.

February 10, 2011: Marissa’s incarceration begins.

August 17, 2011: Marissa is denied Stand Your Ground immunity from prosecution.

May 11, 2012: Marissa is found guilty of three counts of assault with a deadly weapon and receives a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.

July 10, 2013: Marissa is denied bond pending her appeal of the guilty verdict.

September 26, 2013: Marissa successfully appeals the 2012 trial, the guilty verdict is overturned, and she is – not free – but given the right to a new trial.

November 27, 2013: Marissa is released on bond the night before Thanksgiving having spent 1,021 days in prison. She is released on a $200,009 bond and is placed on house arrest with an ankle monitor until the start of her retrial.  Marissa and her family was responsible for paying $500/fortnightly for bond and $105/week for her ankle monitor.

January 7, 2014: State Prosecutor Angela Corey files a motion to revoke Marissa’s bond release, claiming Marissa violated the conditions of her release.

January 10, 2014: Corey’s motion to revoke Marissa’s bond release is denied & Marissa remains on house arrest.

March 1, 2014: Corey seeks 60 year sentence for Marissa

June 10, 2014: Judge Daniel postpones Marissa’s retrial to December 8, 2014.

June 21, 2014: Changes to Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law go into effect, including expanding the law to cover warning shots. Marissa’s case is cited as an inspiration for the reform – but it does NOT apply retroactively to provide immunity for Marissa.

July 21, 2014: Marissa is denied a new Stand Your Ground hearing, which means she will not receive immunity from prosecution and must defend herself again in a new trial that will be expensive and long. Her new trial is scheduled to begin December 8, 2014.

November 24, 2014: Marissa ‘accepts’ a plea deal, which includes time served (1,030 days).  The deal requires Marissa to immediately serve an additional 65 days followed by two years of probation serving house detention.  Marissa is required to pay monitoring fees.

January 27, 2015: Marissa was released from jail to begin her 2-year probation.

You can find more of the work we did as the Chicago Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander here.