January 28, 2015 UPDATE:
Marissa Alexander Released from Prison; Supporters Celebrate, Demand FULL FREEDOM!
Supporters of Marissa Alexander in Jacksonville, across the US, and all around the world are overjoyed that she has been released from jail after serving 3 years behind bars for defending her life. In 2010, Marissa Alexander, a black mother of three from Jacksonville, Florida, was forced to defend her life from a life-threatening attack by her estranged husband by firing a single warning shot that caused no injuries. State Prosecutor Angela Corey prosecuted Marissa, pursuing a 60 year mandatory minimum sentence. On November 24, 2014, Marissa accepted a plea deal that included time served of nearly 3 years in prison, 65 additional days in the Duval County jail, and 2 years of probation while under home detention. January 27, 2015 marked the end of her time behind bars. We are thrilled that Marissa will finally be reunited with her children, her family, and her community. Today’s hearing revealed that Marissa intends to attend school to become a paralegal and she is a wonderful mother to her children who urgently need her. Amazingly, the State continued their campaign of punishment by trying to add two more years of probation on top of the two years of house detention included in the plea. Fortunately, they failed. Marissa and her family will need time to begin recovering from this arduous and traumatic experience. It’s been a long and painful journey and, though her release from jail is definitely a win -- no 60 years -- the journey of seeking ultimate freedom is not over. Marissa will be forced to be on strict home detention while being under surveillance for two years. This is by no means freedom in the sense we feel she deserves. Our next agenda is to seek full restoration for Marissa and her family, including the expunging of her so-called criminal record, and a systemic transformation that prevents black women and all survivors of domestic violence from experiencing the hostile and brutal treatment from policing, prosecution, and prison systems that Marissa has endured. We will push for improved legislation and monitoring of systems that penalize victims of domestic violence who choose to save their lives by force. This is by no means a conclusion. FMN's full press release is here, and we also recommend this reflection by Mariame Kaba, member of Chicago Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander.
We are filled with gratitude for the hundreds of people who have donated and organized fundraisers all around the world. We want to be very clear: The reason Marissa is finally out of prison for good is directly because of your political and financial support. Your donations were CRUCIAL in supporting her pro bono legal team to offer exceptional legal advocacy and your activism ensured that her case stayed in the public eye, which pressured Florida's politicians to pay attention. Every one of us has a hand in this victory! Thank you, thank you, thank you.
We're going to take a short break, but we'll be back with more specific thank you's and shout outs soon (there are so many!). In the meantime, feel free to continue to donate to this fund and help Marissa Alexander cover the very expensive process of rebuilding her life.
Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign