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Warning Shot Bill: Public Defenders Back a Revised Version of Marissa Alexander-Inspired Measure

| December 16, 2013

Polk County Rep. Neil Combee sponsored the 2013 bill after hearing about Marissa Alexander, a Jacksonville woman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison under the 10-20-Life sentencing law for firing a gun into a wall during a fight with her husband. Combee said her sentence was an example of the “negative unintended consequences” of 10-20-Life, which requires mandatory-minimum prison terms for gun-related crimes.

Bill Would Grant Immunity From Harsh Sentences for Firing Warning Shots

| September 27, 2013

A bill filed by a Polk County lawmaker is intended to address what he called “the negative, unintended consequences” of Florida’s 10-20-Life sentencing law by granting immunity to people who fire warning shots to protect themselves and others. The new bill was filed on the same day that the 1st District Court of Appeal ordered a new trial for Marissa Alexander, a Jacksonville woman sentenced to a mandatory 20 years in prison for a shot fired during a domestic dispute in her home.

Appeal Court Orders New Trial for Marissa Alexander, But No Redo on Stand Your Ground

| September 26, 2013

Marissa Alexander, a 32-year-old mother of three, was convicted on improper self-defense instructions to the jury, the court ruled. Alexander was serving a 20-year sentence for shooting a gun during an argument with her abusive husband, against whom she had a restraining order.

Cabinet Passes, for Now, on Pardoning Marissa Alexander, Pending Stand Your Ground Appeal

| August 7, 2013

Alexander, a 32-year-old mother of three, was sentenced to 20 years in prison last year after firing a shot into a wall during a dispute with her abusive husband, a case that stands in sharp contrast with George Zimmerman’s not-guilty verdict after he shot and killed an unarmed teen.

Should Ronald Thompson Be Serving 20 Years for Firing a Gun to Protect an Elderly Neighbor?

| June 23, 2012

Ronald Thompson, a 65-year-old disabled veteran, is serving 20 years for firing two shots in the ground to protect an elderly neighbor from her grandson and three of his friends. The mandatory sentence spotlights a recurring dilemma with Florida’s sentencing laws.

She Stood Her Ground. She Got 20 Years. The Case of Jacksonville’s Marissa Alexander.

| May 14, 2012

As Florida reviews its “stand your ground” law in the wake of the Trayvon Martin killing, Marissa Alexander on Friday received a 20-year sentence for firing a shot in what she claims was self-defense and her backers say was a case of her standing her ground.

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