MARISSA & GEORGE: CASE STUDIES INTO THE BLACK & WHITE OF FLORIDA JURISPRUDENCE
- Category: Justice
- Published: Thursday, 21 November 2013 15:25
- Written by Attorney Britt Lyle
by Attorney Britt Lyle
Even the most astutely clever author of the most intriguing action/suspense/drama novel would be hard pressed to articulate, even with complete artistic license, the clarity that these set of actual, not contrived, facts indicate about the dual legal systems that exist in every county courthouse in the State.
On Black Acre:
Representing the Typical African-American Defendant in Florida, we have Ms. Marissa Alexander. Ms. Alexander, despite having been granted a new trial in September, will now have to linger in prison through the Holy-days until the New Year until this same Court determines if she will be granted some form of pre-trail release.
Ms. Alexander had been sentenced to a term of 20 years in the Florida State prison system for firing a warning shot into a wall during a fight with her husband, whom she alleged had abused her. BTW: Assault of, or discharging a firearm into, a drywall or any wall or other surface within one's own residence in self-defense is not a violation of any Florida Statute, which I am presently aware of.
On November 13th, Judge James Daniel amazingly saw fit to deny Marissa Alexander's request to be released on bond until a verdict is reached in her new trial. That trial is not scheduled to be heard until March 31, 2014. Ms. Alexander's next status hearing is also not set until January 15, 2014. GZ is free.
In late September, a Florida District Court of Appeals threw out her conviction against and ordered a new trial. So, it's not uncommon to have a defendant released R.O.R when his/her case has been overturned, even when the accused had been convicted of a violent crime and a review of the evidence shed new light concerning a problematic or injustice conviction. But GZ is free.
Marissa Alexander, is an African-American mother and daughter who was sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot to stop an attack by her abusive ex-husband in an obvious act of self-defense that injured no one. She was denied a "Stand Your Ground defense" prior to her conviction. She has also been apart from her children and family for nearly three years and counting. The youngest, only 9 days old when the domestic violence incident occurred, is almost 3 now. And GZ is free.
Release on personal recognizance (ROR) or bond is allowed for defendants who represent a non flight risk or danger to the commUNITY, as determined by the Court based on several factors. Ms. Alexander has deep roots in the Jacksonville area and is the prototypical defendant for ROR pre-trial release. Thus, given the facts of this case, the absence of a violent criminal history, the previous arrest by police of the husband turned alleged victim, it is then abundantly clear to all that Ms. Alexander was indeed the victim in this matter and poses no danger to the public.
Concluding this, she is further more than entitled to pre-trial release ordered by the Court R.O.R. To further detain the victim in this case adds insult to injury for Ms. Alexander, her children and family and many, many, more in Florida. Yet she was denied bond to be reunited with her children and released from her seemly never-ending nightmare of injustice. While GZ enjoys the freedom continue his crime spree.
On White Acre:
We have The Poster Boy of elite privilege & 2nd, 3rd & 4th chances, George "Georgie" Zimmerman. Looking at his life, post acquittal for teenager Travon Martin's murder, the World can see now what we and many others inside and outside of the African-American commUNITY have always seen; that George Zimmerman murdered young Trayvon on a rainy night, because he is a deeply disturbed, criminally violent, murderous individual, who proved that he is was willing to kill, even an innocent child, in cold blood, then coolly fabricate truths to cover his deadly deed. MA is in prison.
Yet the multiple offender and murder George Zimmerman has been wrongly acquitted of murder, stopped & released, stopped & released again, stopped & released one more time (I think, I've lost count now), allegedly pointed a weapon and his wife, assaulted & battered his father-in-law, the weapon was again allegedly in GZ's vehicle that was never searched by law enforcement officers on the scene. MA is in Prison still.
There may have been another chocking incident last week that may or may not have been reported prior to the recent allegations of criminally violent behavior and threats with a firearm. However, the clear and convincing evidence which indicates that one of these defendants is a serious threat to t to society as a whole and the streets are much safer with this individual remanded to the custody of their county jail. MA is the one who is in prison.
What then is the matter with this Picture of the Florida Criminal Justice System?
The matter is that it is and always have been set up to be slanted in favor of the majority population to the disadvantage of the minority population here in Florida (remember "Hispanic" is a cultural identification, not a racial one) . The difference in sentencing is such an "Open Secret" that at this point in Florida judicial practice & history this "Imbalance" in sentencing is factored into the expectations from the State Attorney's Office, The Court, Clients & other members of the legal justice system here. Who is your choice for the biggest menace to society Marissa Alexander vs. George Zimmerman? But George is asleep again a free man & Marissa is still incarcerated in a state correctional facility.
The Real Sunshine State of Affairs:
People who reside in this State know that African-Americans in Florida are stopped more frequently, arrested more often, likely to be shot and/or killed by law enforcement during any and all contact with Florida Law Enforcement Offices (African-American or Euro-American) more quickly and more often than members of the majority of citizens in Florida.
Thus, the Marissa & George cases are microcosms of the sever disparity in the dispensing of fair & equal justice in every county courthouse around the State (especially the rural counties, where there has been scores of decades filled with unequal justice being dropped on the African-American population.
DEAR DOJ: Just choose any county court house in any county in the state, sit through a sentencing docket or trial and watch the injustice flow. DOJ means The Department of Justice, right? (Also refer to tale Vqz on facebook for a very interesting perspective on George Z & the possible conspiracy by he and others to commit the murder of Trayvon)