The Office of State Attorney Angela Corey will seek to put Marissa Alexander in prison for 60 years if she is convicted for a second time. Alexander was previously sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot at her abusive husband in Jacksonville, FL. Her conviction was overturned on appeal, but State Attorney Angela Corey wasted no time refiling the same charges and a retrial is scheduled to begin July 28.
Corey claims to be following Florida law in seeking a new 60 year sentence, but prosecutors have extremely wide discretion in deciding what charges to bring against a person in the first place, including deciding not to prosecute at all if the prosecutor determines that the Stand Your Ground law applies. Instead of using her prosecutorial discretion in a responsible manner, Corey is misusing her office in a way that endangers the lives of domestic violence survivors. That she would try to mislead the public about her role in the criminal justice system of Florida only adds to the outrageousness of her conduct.
If Alexander were to receive a 60-year sentence, what would that mean for other domestic violence victims who try to defend themselves? Survivors need support from our legal system, not fear of being convicted if they stand their ground against their abuser. Corey should resign from her position and be replaced with a State Attorney that will defend victims, not prosecute them.