Marissa Alexander: an update and a letter

Marissa Alexander should never have been sentenced to jail for defending herself from an abusive husband by shooting at a wall, injuring nobody. She shouldn’t have to be retried. But at least she has been released on bond and was able to spend Thanksgiving with her family. It was the first time she had seen her family out of jail in three years.

Alexander had to pay $250,000 and will be under home arrest and wearing an ankle monitor until her trial on March 31st 2014.

Of course, Florida could just drop the charges but that would require that Angela Corey see Alexander for what she truly is: a victim and survivor of domestic abuser who dared to defend herself, not a criminal or an instigator of violence.

Melissa Harris Perry spoke her letter to Corey on her show this weekend.

Transcript

To the woman who put Marissa Alexander in jail

There is nothing like being home for the holidays with your loved ones. So I can only imagine that this Thanksgiving is particularly bittersweet for Marissa Alexander, who was granted a special pre-trial release at 10:30 PM on Wednesday – Thanksgiving Eve – after spending more than 1000 days in jail, and barely seeing her youngest child who just recently turned three.
 
But my letter is not to Marissa. Sis, I am saving that one for when you are finally freed for good. No, my letter this week is to the woman that worked to put you in jail in the first place: Florida State Attorney for the fourth judicial circuit, Angela Corey.
Dear Angela Corey,
It’s me, Melissa.
Angela, there are few times in life that we get second chances to right our wrongs. Well Angela, this is yours.
You have been called a fierce victim’s advocate, so it is way past time that you start acting like it.
Because a woman who was hospitalized in 2009 after being shoved into a bathtub and hitting her head – she is a victim.
A woman whose estranged husband has admitted to abusing all five mothers of his kids – she is his victim.
And when that woman, that victim, who has just recently given birth, fires a warning shot near the man that has cornered her in her home – she is a victim who feels she has no other recourse.
But that is part of the problem, Angela. You never saw Marissa as a victim. You saw Marissa as the aggressor and even justified why the infamous “Stand Your Ground” law was not applied in Marissa’s case.
read the rest of the letter here

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Born and raised on the mean streets of New York City’s Upper West Side, Katie Halper is a comic, writer, blogger, satirist and filmmaker based in New York. Katie graduated from The Dalton School (where she teaches history) and Wesleyan University (where she learned that labels are for jars.) A director of Living Liberally and co-founder/performer in Laughing Liberally, Katie has performed at Town Hall, Symphony Space, The Culture Project, D.C. Comedy Festival, all five Netroots Nations, and The Nation Magazine Cruise, where she made Howard Dean laugh! and has appeared with Lizz Winstead, Markos Moulitsas, The Yes Men, Cynthia Nixon and Jim Hightower. Her writing and videos have appeared in The New York Times, Comedy Central, The Nation Magazine, Gawker, Nerve, Jezebel, the Huffington Post, Alternet and Katie has been featured in/on NY Magazine, LA Times, In These Times, Gawker,Jezebel, MSNBC, Air America, GritTV, the Alan Colmes Show, Sirius radio (which hung up on her once) and the National Review, which called Katie “cute and some what brainy.” Katie co-produced Tim Robbins’s film Embedded, (Venice Film Festival, Sundance Channel); Estela Bravo’s Free to Fly (Havana Film Festival, LA Latino Film Festival); was outreach director for The Take, Naomi Klein/Avi Lewis documentary about Argentine workers (Toronto & Venice Film Festivals, Film Forum); co-directed New Yorkers Remember the Spanish Civil War, a video for Museum of the City of NY exhibit, and wrote/directed viral satiric videos including Jews/ Women/ Gays for McCain.

Katie is a writer, comedian, filmmaker, and New Yorker.

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