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What the Hell? Government Edition

15 Oct

As I sit here on day 13 of the government shutdown I can’t help but to wonder, WHAT THE HELL, Washington DC? What in the HELL is going on? I guess everything I learned while watching Schoolhouse Rock about how the government works was just a lie. I suppose next I’m going to find out that all the after school specials I used to watch weren’t realistic either, huh?  Maybe I should start doing Crank because the only reason I haven’t thus far in my life is because of the after school special I saw where a teenage Helen Hunt snorted some supposed Crank off some hunky guy’s finger then went crazy and threw herself out a plate-glass window.

After doing some research for this particular special I discovered that it is called Desperate Lives and was actually an anti-drug movie. When I was 12, in 1982, I vividly remember having to watch it and writing a reaction paper afterwards for a class, or should I say THE class because when I was in middle school we stayed in one damn room all day, but I digress. I really wish I had that paper now. I imagine it was as unintentionally hilarious as the actual movie.

I don’t know what to really say about the shutdown. It stinks. I don’t know who is at fault, probably a little from column A, a little from column B, and a whole lot of narcissism and people fighting for the right to BE right, but damn, I don’t know. I know that I have seen a lot of people express their opinion that it doesn’t affect them so who cares. The thing is, it DOES affect somebody. Real people are not getting paid and a whole host of other government services and agencies are affected. Maybe have some empathy before you go posting on Facebook that none of this affects you anyway and who cares.

Speaking of Facebook, can we all agree that none of us are going to change the others minds on anything and simply agree to disagree?  Not once have I read a Facebook status or comment when someone appointed themselves the spokesman for vegans or tea party Republicans or vegan tea party Republicans where I actually thought  “My goodness, what a well thought all caps rant. I believe I will have to re-think my position”.  Not. Once.

Before I continue to spiral further down into What the Helldom regarding the government and how out of control it feels to change anything, I wanted to ask your help once again regarding Marissa Alexander. So many of you have said that you would love to help if you could, well now is your chance.  As I wrote a few weeks ago, Marissa Alexander has been granted a new trial which is great news! However, a letter-writing campaign has been started to try to persuade Florida State Attorney Angela Corey to drop the case all together. It would only take a few minutes of your time to write a letter asking that the charges be dropped. I am including the addresses and a link to a sample letter.

Angela Corey, State Attorney
Courthouse Annex
220 East Bay Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Phone: 904-630-2400
Fax: 904-630-2938

Office of Attorney General Pam Bondi
State of Florida
The Capitol PL-01
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050
Phone: 850-414-3300 or 850-414-3990
Fax: 850-410-1630

Office of Governor Rick Scott
State of Florida
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
Phone: 850-717-9337 or 850-488-7146

Sample letter here 

I suggest you send letters to every address listed above. Hell, let’s just write everybody. I still believe that justice is something worth fighting for and is attainable.

BUT if not, we might as well all do crank and throw ourselves out windows.

NEXT, I’m writing a super fun post about my unnatural love of all things Halloween,  so be sure to come back for that!

Next Stop, the World

30 Sep



Well, I did it. Thanks to my efforts,  Marissa Alexander will be receiving a new trial.  Next, I’ll work on getting the mandatory minimums reformed so that nobody has to deal with what she did ever again, then I’ll move on to solve the problem of homelessness, then world hunger, then I’ll grab my Nobel Peace Prize, write my memoirs, and retire to Greece.

In all seriousness, this news is sanfrantastic and I am thrilled.  I REALLY hope that the State of Florida gets it right this time. What would be even BETTER is if the State chose to drop all charges. The state has until October 16 to re-file the charges against her and now the push is on to convince them to do just that BUT, if you know anything about Florida at all, you might know a little something about Angela Corey, the state attorney. This woman is the gift that keeps on giving.  I could make a joke about her being born on Halloween, a day that is tied closely to horror, but I am a lady dammit, and won’t stoop to such things. Plus, I love Halloween and don’t want to sully it by tying her to one of my favorite days.

If I’m mincing my words here, let me be clear. I do not like Angela Corey.  I feel that she is overzealous and has a personal agenda that I can only assume includes higher political aspirations. I don’t want to get into the Zimmerman thing, but her handling of that case is being called into question on many levels.

BUT HEY, I have not come to bash Angela Corey, I am here to celebrate what is essentially good news regarding Marissa Alexander! This is from a press release sent out by Marissa’s lawyers the day the new trial was announced, September 26, 2013 –

Marissa was informed of the reversal of her conviction early this afternoon. Marissa expressed her gratitude for today’s decision as well as her continued confidence in the judicial system’s ability to correct mistakes. Marissa also wanted to thank those who have offered their support and prayers during her incarceration. Finally, Marissa expressed her desire to be back with her children and family.

THIS amazes me. Every time I have corresponded with Marissa, I am struck by how she never lost faith in the system. I cannot imagine I would feel the same. I have lost faith in just about everything, as we sit on the cusp of our government grinding to a halt because of stubbornness and the inability to compromise and as Dr. Phil would say “a bunch of RIGHT FIGHTERS”.

I am happy to be a part of something greater than myself, and thrilled that as one person on the Free Marissa Alexander Facebook page said “a lot of tiny raindrops make up a great thunderstorm”. Proud to be a part of the thunderstorm. It gives me much-needed hope.


Less of a Rally and More Like a Get-Together

19 Sep

Marissa Alexander at Beach

There are times that I am absolutely horrified by what occurs in this country. We can’t seem to stop shooting each other, we crown a hot, talented, intelligent woman as Miss America, (honestly perfecting the pageant wave is all I ever ask of my Miss America. The rest is just fluff), and for some people, the fact that she is of Indian descent has perplexed and confused them so much that they felt the need to take to the internet and proclaim their disgust.  These are people who probably still refer to Asian people as “Orientals” and don’t understand why the term “coloreds” isn’t used anymore.

Let’s be honest,  every single Miss America SHOULD be Native American if we wanted to get as outright dumb as those who had a problem with Nina Davuluri winning as these jackasses on Twitter who were up in arms because a “foreigner” won. Also, some took the extra ignorant measure of calling her an “Arab”.  Nicely done, people who really need to put down their phones and stop Tweeting hatred and perhaps pick up a book, any book, except maybe 50 Shades of Grey, and read.  I would like to suggest a newspaper, but start small, you don’t want to strain something.

There are so many things to get outraged about that it can be quite overwhelming to decide where to put your outraged energy.   I’m fortunate enough to live in the great phallic state of Florida, a state that is known far and wide for stupidity.  I have written several times about mandatory minimum sentencing and the fact that it needs to be reformed. I shared the story of Marissa Alexander, a woman currently serving 20 years in a Jacksonville, Florida prison, for firing a gun into a wall.  If you don’t like her story, pick another one, there are several. Marissa is not the only one who has been affected by ridiculous blanket sentencing.

After much consideration, I chose working towards mandatory minimum sentencing reform over fighting for the rights of repressed cows not being allowed on a school bus or lobbying for the good people of Destin to be allowed to change into their swimwear someplace other than their hotel rooms.

This past Saturday, September 14, was Marissa Alexander’s birthday, and a day that was proclaimed a national day of rallies to raise awareness about Marissa and mandatory minimum sentencing.  I was the organizer for the  Orlando rally, a day that was actually more a day of me, my sister, and my 9-year old son holding signs in downtown  Orlando than a RALLY, BUT, as my friend Cherie said, we talked, even when nobody wanted to listen. We talked and we gave out information and educated people about what mandatory minimums are, and we put a human face, a beautiful face, Marissa’s face, on mandatory minimum sentencing.

We certainly had some people rush past us while pushing their expensive jogging strollers, hoping not to make eye contact with us, and that was fine. It was a good opportunity for me to explain to my 9- year old how horrible rich people are (I am KIDDING…sheesh).   We  talked with people pushing expensive strollers and sipping out of Starbucks cups, we talked with people who were visiting the park after church, we spoke with regular folks who were just enjoying a beautiful Saturday, we talked to a couple of seemingly insane presumably homeless people, and we talked to a LOT of very well spoken, intelligent, well-informed homeless people. I know they were homeless because the majority of them told us they were.

One homeless gentleman in particular relayed his story about how mandatory minimum sentencing affected him personally. He had spent 20 years in prison on a drug offense and he had just been released last year. While he was in jail, technology and life, had gone on without him. He was trying to gain his footing, find a place to live, find a job, go to school, and he was finding it increasingly difficult to stay away from drugs. As he was talking, I found myself wondering if there are bridge programs in Florida to assist freed  prisoners in their lives outside prison. I don’t know the answer, but it’s something I want to look into.

The rally was a success even without a chant as the one I came up with,“what do we want!?” “retroactive mandatory minimum sentencing reform!” “When do we want it?” “As soon as possible!” was a little clunky.  I think we all left that day feeling a little better about the good that exists in this world, and it exists, though not in Northampton, UK because even though I read that this creepy clown is more than likely actually a few teenagers, I do not feel more comfortable about that fact. TEENAGERS? Do they not have the internet in Northampton? There is free porn on the internet, teens. Go do something more productive with your time and stop freaking people out.

rally 2

I have maybe a couple more years with this one then he will decide I’m uncool


Get me the President on the horn.

I sent Marissa a birthday card today, with apologies for it being late. I included these pictures from the rally and told her that lots of us out here are doing as much as we can to make sure this is her last birthday behind bars.

If you want to get involved,  head over to the Families Against Mandatory Minimums site and do just that!



Step Off, Weiner

23 Jul

I had planned to write a “What the Hell” post about Anthony Weiner, but really, what more is there to say except WHAT THE HELL, MAN? CARLOS DANGER?  Please, just stop. Step away from the public eye, then you can get on the internet and/or Twitter and go crazy with the sexting that you kids are so into these days. I don’t want to read about your weiner in any way and I’m annoyed that I feel the need to write about it, so just go away and stop doing stupid shit. I have very little self-control and I have more important stuff to write and read about. Thanks.

On that note, I have had such positive responses to the posts I have written about mandatory minimum reform and specifically, the Marissa Alexander case.  I have read your comments and even though I have not had a chance to respond to all of them, I greatly appreciate them.

When I first read about Marissa Alexander’s case, I was incredulous that such a thing actually happened. I researched and found that not only had it happened to her, it has happened to other citizens of Florida as well (and other states, but as a citizen of Florida, that was my focus). As a fellow mom, Marissa’s case in particular hit a nerve with me. I wrote her to offer my support and let her know that she was not alone and that nobody would forget about her. She wrote me back and I was struck by her response, and each response since then. She has not lost faith, in the system, or in the ability of people to change things for the better.

Today I had the opportunity to ask a question that has been plaguing me since I decided I wanted to get involved in trying to change the mandatory minimum statutes.  Greg Newburn, Project Director for Families Against Mandatory Minimums Florida, hosted a one hour question and answer session on Facebook and I got the chance to ask him just what the hell I could do to help. Here is his answer  –

Thank you, Amy! Humbly, I think the best way to get the statutes changed is to support our efforts at FAMM. Make sure everyone you talk to goes to our website, follows us on Twitter and “likes” us here on Facebook. The more people we reach, the better our chances of success. We’ve been working very hard to get this issue in front of the legislature, and we won’t quit until a good reform is passed and signed by the Governor. Keep up the great work! (And we will, too.)

I am a good listener, so that is what I am doing.

Also, I heard that rallies were being organized for cities all over the country to take place on September 14, which is Marissa’s birthday. I was SO hoping I could make a powerful sign and just show up and have my voice be heard, but it looks like there isn’t a rally organized in Florida, SO, I’ll be organizing it. I have no idea what I’m doing, but I will be looking into pulling permits and I have the best damn meeting planner in the world helping me (my sister) and a lot of supportive friends and family. This issue is hugely important to me and I know it is NOT necessarily important to everyone, but, as my friend Cheri said, I will keep talking, even if nobody listens, I will keep talking. My mother, and everybody who has ever met me, can attest to that fact, for better or worse.

I know this has been a very Amy-centric post, but I have not forgotten for one second that this is about Marissa, and Ronald, and Orville, and Todd, and every single person affected by the mandatory minimum statutes, including babies being raised without their moms or dads and parents having to face each day without their child.   This is my blog, so I am expressing my angst at organizing the rally, but, I am excited to be doing it.

Here is a link to the rallies. If you want to attend or organize, please get in touch with them and let them know so they can add you to the list. Here is the link for the “support for Marissa Alexander” Facebook page.


Thank you, as always, for reading. I will write about the insanity that is Miley Cyrus’s half sweatpants, half jeans abominations and the joys of being relatively comfortable in my plus size body sometime again soon. I promise.



Thanks for Nothing, OJ

17 Jul

Sometimes I wish I could go back to being 25 years old. Not because my life was so much better back then (it really wasn’t) or that my ass was so much smaller (it really wasn’t). It’s because before I was 25, I lived in a bit of a cocoon. When I was 25, I had an epiphany; The world is an unjust place. It sounds EXTREMELY naive, and I am fully aware of that fact. I was naive. I didn’t grow up in the lap of luxury, but we were comfortable, and my dad had a way of making it SEEM like we had a lot more than we did (which looking back was probably not a good way to live). More than that, though, I grew up thinking that the world was a good and just place. I don’t know why I grew up thinking that, I just did.  After watching the OJ Simpson trial on TV, like half of America at the time,  I started thinking maybe everything wasn’t so rosy. When Simpson was acquitted of murder,  I started to open my eyes to injustices.  I don’t think it is controversial of me to state my opinion that I think OJ Simpson is guilty of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. I think he got away with murder. He was not the first of course, and sadly, he will not be the last.

George Zimmerman being found not guilty of second degree murder and manslaughter charges in the death of Trayvon Martin did not surprise me. It saddens me, because beyond all the media hype and charges of racism,  a 17-year old young man is dead now and honestly, if Zimmerman had stayed in his truck, he would not be. I imagine stating THIS opinion IS controversial. I also imagine that I don’t care. I don’t write to be controversial, or to not be controversial. I write because I have a need to write and I write about what I want to write about.

I do think that the jurors did the best they could in the parameters of the law with the charges Zimmerman faced. However, it still makes me sad. I am not a lawyer, just a woman with a computer and an internet connection, but from what I understand, if Zimmerman had been charged with aggravated assault, thanks to Florida’s ridiculous mandatory minimum laws, he would have gone to prison for 25 years.

I refer to mandatory minimum laws as ridiculous because I believe they are. There is no “one size fits all” situation that warrants mandatory sentencing, also known as 10-20-life.  I have written about Marissa Alexander and her case and how mandatory sentencing means that she is now in jail for 20 years for having fired a gun into a wall.  I don’t care if you dispute the facts of her case or don’t believe that she was in the situation she says she was in, this is indisputable – she fired. A gun. Into. A. Wall. And she is in prison for 20 years. She will be the first to tell you that she made mistakes on that day as well as on her day in court when she was offered a plea deal and rejected it.  I imagine George Zimmerman would say he would do things differently as well. The difference is, Marissa Alexander is in jail for hurting nobody, and George Zimmerman is walking free while having killed someone.

Maybe you totally don’t buy anything about Marissa’s case. How about the case of Ronald Johnson, a 65-year old Clay County, Florida man who in 2009 fired two shots into the ground to try to scare away a couple of teenagers he thought were breaking into his neighbor’s house. What is interesting about Johnson’s case is that Circuit Judge John Skinner sentenced him to 3 years because he declared the 10-20-life statutes “unconstitutional”. Shortly after that, State Attorney Angela Corey appealed the sentence and Johnson was sentenced to the mandatory 20 years.  In June, 2012, Fourth Circuit Judge Don Lester granted a new trial, ruling that the jury instructions were flawed. Johnson is out at this time awaiting a new trial. In all fairness, if 10-20-life is not reformed by the time of his new trial, he really SHOULD go back to jail to finish his 20-year sentence.  But hell, what’s fair, right? Like I tell my kids, fair is a place for funnel cakes, and that’s it. It certainly has no place in the justice system it seems.

I have been in contact with Marissa and I am struck by how incredibly positive her outlook is. It is amazing because I would be awful and I would actually have a reason to be a terrible bitter bitch, unlike now.  And now we’re back to pre-OJ and how I wish I was there sometimes because once your eyes are open to injustice, it’s hard not to see it. I find myself torn with what to do, though I know I HAVE to do something.  What I AM doing is writing everyone I can about her case and the insanity that is mandatory minimum sentencing. I am looking into what can actually be done to change the statutes. I am working on attending and/or organizing rallies.  I am TRYING.

Take her out of it if you want to, the fact that there are statutes on the books that have the ability to send someone to jail for 20 years for simply firing a gun in a situation deemed felonious in nature scares the ever-loving hell out of me, and should scare all citizens of Florida. Actually, it should scare all human beings.

I haven’t even touched on the fact that Florida also has mandatory sentencing statues that apply to people who are convicted of selling drugs. That is another depressing rabbit hole that I will tumble-down and write about at some point,  I am sure.

Like the real world in The Matrix, my real Post-OJ world is pretty ugly. However,  I am not so bitter about the state of things that I would rather do nothing than to try change the world just a little bit.

“You can’t make footprints in the sands of time by sitting on your butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?” –

Bob Moawad


*Picture credit –

Mandatory Minimums and “Stand Your Ground” Laws are Stupid

28 Apr

I have written about the terrors of some of the creatures here in Florida, and there are quite a few of them. However, there is something far scarier than giant snails and boa constrictors lurking in the sunshine state,  and I don’t mean all the black socks with sandals wearing that goes on here.

In Florida we have some laws on the books that I think need to be amended if not totally abolished. No, not the one that states that “having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal” though that is a real law in Florida.  I, of course, would love to know the background as to why this law had to be written, but that is for another blog.

10-20-lifeOne of the laws I am speaking of is called 10-20-life. The law states that if during a crime you pull a gun you automatically receive 10 years in prison.  Firing a gun will land you 20 years, and shooting someone will get you 25 years to life.  This law means that during circumstances deemed felonious in nature, if you fire a gun, you will be sentenced to 20 years. Not if you actually shoot someone, because that will get you 25- life, but if you just fire a gun, not even directly at someone, you are going to prison for 20 years.  Think about that for a  moment.

You might not be familiar with 10-20-life but you probably are familiar with another questionable Florida law commonly called the “stand your ground” law which states that “a person may justifiably use force in self-defense when there is reasonable belief of an unlawful threat, without an obligation to retreat first.” Unfortunately, you probably know of the “stand your ground law” because of a young man who lost his life, Trayvon Martin. The man who killed him, George Zimmerman,  claims he did so under the “stand your ground” law. Zimmerman is out on bail awaiting trial.

Since the “stand your ground ” law, which has been called the “shoot first law” by critics, has taken affect in Florida, self-defense claims have TRIPLED.  Sometimes the only witness to the crime is the shooter who can claim self-defense after the fact.  Also, the word “threatened” is a very subjective word. I have felt “threatened” by aggressive perfume sample sprayers in the mall. I never thought to shoot them. I am joking about this of course but I am not the only one who finds the wording questionable. John Timoney, who was the police chief in Miami and was an opponent of the “stand your ground” law before it passed, called it “unnecessary and dangerous” and  also said “”Whether it’s trick-or-treaters or kids playing in the yard of someone who doesn’t want them there or some drunk guy stumbling into the wrong house, you’re encouraging people to possibly use deadly physical force where it shouldn’t be used.”

I have heard it said, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, that if you wanted to kill someone in Florida, just drag them into your house and claim that you felt “threatened.”

Stupid, right? AND the damn law doesn’t even work according to several studies. Texas A & M economics professors found that the adoption of the “stand your ground” laws caused a “statistically significant increase in the raw homicide rate and had a very small positive effect on deterrence of crime.”  Another study done by economists at Georgia State found a “significant increase in homicide and injury among white males and significantly increased rates of emergency room visits and hospital discharges related to gun in juries in states with these laws.”

Back to 10-20-life and how these two laws intertwine. A few weeks ago I read a story about a woman named Marissa Alexander who is currently in jail in Jacksonville, Florida, serving a 20 year sentence for firing a gun in the vicinity of her husband, Rico Gray. I have never written anyone in jail before but I was so angered by her story that I wanted to offer to help in some way. She wrote me back and said that she appreciated the support and the best way to help her is to write about her and spread the word so that people are aware of her story so that hopefully this will not happen again.

Marissa Alexander had given birth 9 days before she was arrested. The rest of the incident, I will let her tell in her own words, from a Time magazine article, April 2012 –

[Gray] 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.

Rico Gray admits that this was not the first time he had abused Marissa. He was arrested for attacking her and sending her to the hospital in 2009 and in 2010 she got a restraining order against him.   Not only does Gray admit that he abused her, he states that he had abused several other women before. This is from a 2010 deposition, “I got five baby mamas and I put my hand on every last one of them except one. The way I was with women, they was like they had to walk on eggshells around me. You know they never knew what I was thinking or what I might do. Hit them, push them.”

He sounds charming, doesn’t he? Why would she stay with him? Their story as a couple is complicated but not all that unfamiliar. After the restraining order was filed in 2009, Marissa learned she was pregnant with Rico Gray’s child. She asked the court to amend the restraining order to remove the ban on her and Gray having contact, but to keep the rest of the restraining order in place.  She wanted the father of her child to be with her during the pregnancy, and if you know anything about battered women, you will know it is very common for victims of domestic violence to find it difficult to cut all ties with their abusers.  Gray and Marissa actually got married while the restraining order was still in place, though they did not live together and were not living together when the incident occurred.

The thing is, none of this matters. The why’s and OMG how could she stay with him are details that do not matter. What matters is she felt threatened that day because of his past behavior.   It is interesting to note that Marissa’s story has never changed. Not once.  Rico Gray’s story, however,  has changed from him corroborating her story to stating that she aimed the gun at him and shot and missed. According to Marissa and her father, Marissa has been a licensed gun owner for years and went to the gun range fairly regularly. Marissa’s father stated that if she wanted to shoot someone, she would not miss.

Marissa Alexander rejected a plea deal and went to trial and was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon with no intent to harm.  Marissa told Police Officers marrissa-alexanderthat she feared for her life. It sounds like she SHOULD be protected by the “stand your ground” law, right?  If there was ever a time for that stupid law to come into play, a woman with a history of being abused by the man she shot around (not even AT) should be the time. A judge rejected the motion to invoke “stand your ground” because she could have exited the home. The judge must have forgotten that the wording of the “stand your ground” law clearly states that when your life is threatened you have no duty to retreat, meaning, you don’t have to leave when you feel threatened. In other words, shoot first, ask questions later. I suppose Marissa would have been better off just shooting the jerk, then “stand your ground” would come into effect. The judge also made the decision that because her behavior was “inconsistent with a person who is in genuine fear for his or her life” that she could not invoke the “stand your ground” law.

Again, I will let Marissa Alexander explain in her own words why this is so freaking crazy –

“Look at the facts of the case and be fair. To me, it’s a human rights issue. You tell me that I can bear arms. You tell me that I can go to class and get a permit (to carry). And you tell me everything that I need to do to get on the right side of the law, which also includes getting an injunction for no violence in place. And then you try to dictate to me my level of fear. That could be anybody. That could be a male…a female…somebody Hispanic…(Asian American), white…it doesn’t matter. It’s a human rights issue.”

– Marissa Alexander to Loop 21 

If her behavior was not consistent with someone who was genuinely in fear for her life, which honestly, unless this judge was in the room when the incident occurred,  I have no idea how he could even make such a statement, and she couldn’t invoke the “stand your ground” law, and the only other option is to abide by another law that states she must go to jail for 20 years, with no possibility of early release, then surely this is a case for amending if not both than at least one of these dumb-ass laws.

Circumstances HAVE to play a role in sentencing.  There is no one size fits all solution and CERTAINLY, even if you are the most staunch supporter of either or both of these laws, you have to agree that this situation, and others like it, and there are others like it,  are not what the writers of  the 10-20-life law had in mind.

“Stand your ground” laws have been proven not to be even effective and when something like what happened to Marissa happens or A 17 year old boy is killed and the killer is able to possibly walk away because of it, things need to change. And change fast.

I am sure Marissa Alexander wishes she could do a lot of things differently on that day and it is easy for all of us to pass judgement on what she did do. I am also sure she would accept the plea bargain at this point if she could. I am not saying she does not deserve any punishment whatsoever, but she has served more time already than people who have killed and raped other people. She shot at a ceiling. That is insanity.

California just passed a law that will review non-violent 3 strikes cases on an individual basis, and it is retroactive.  A judge has been assigned the task of reviewing 1000 cases where the offenders received life sentences merely because it was their third “strike”.  One of the people who was serving a life sentence who received a lesser one is a 74 year old man who has served 15 years for possessing $10 worth of drugs.

It is time for Florida to follow suit and amend these laws. I have no idea how to go about getting that done. I know at one time there was a petition to change the the 10-20-life law, and with the Trayvon Martin case receiving so much national attention, the “stand your ground” law was being discussed a lot, but I think even that has stalled. I do know that I will do everything I can to make sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else again. I know there is a lot of injustice in this world. I just want there to be LESS. NONE would be preferable, but I’m idealistic, not delusional.

Here is a link to Marissa’s blog with her story and other information. Currently her family and other advocates on her behalf are raising money for an appeal. Marissa told me that she has been blessed from a funding standpoint (it amazes me that she could say she’s been blessed at all) and that telling her story is the best way to help her. I hope I have done that.

J. A. Allen

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I'm just a mommy muddling her way through the muck and the mire of parenting and a bunch of other messy stuff like autism, depression, anxiety, faith and more!


Dive into my ocean

Live Your Life Inspired

A Wholehearted Community

On my Om

Technology Opinion & Analysis by Om Malik

polysyllabic profundities

Random thoughts with sporadically profound meaning

Letters Of Rejection

I am a writer and an author and a person and a human.


global business and -trade and nations resources control .

Cozy Cottage Clan

The Life of an Accidental Homemaker and Homesteader

Ana Spoke, author

It's time to get hella serious about writing!

Dr. K. L. Register

Just a small town girl who writes about Christian stuff.