Marissa Alexander Gets a New Trial

An appeals judge orders a new trial because of flawed jury instructions.

By Aura Bogado Sep 26, 2013

Marissa Alexander was denied immunity under Florida’s Stand Your Ground defense–and was subsequently sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a warning shot in the air during an altercation with her ex-husband, Rico Gray. Alexander made clear that she feared for her life during the incident. Gray had twice been arrested for domestic abuse against Alexander; one of those times included an attack during a time when Alexander was pregnant. 

But an appeals court ruled that the jury received flawed instructions–which means Alexander will get a new trial.

The case against Alexander was prosecuted by Angela Corey–the same attorney who also oversaw the prosecution in the George Zimmerman murder trial that resulted in a jury finding Zimmerman not guilty in connection to the killing of Trayvon Martin. The cases drew striking parallels about Florida’s justice system. 

Alexander’s supporters have been demanding that she either be pardoned, or be released pending a new trial. The appeals court ruling is separate from a bail hearing, which could mean that Alexander may soon be released while she prepares for her new trial.