Marissa Alexander Case Inspires Floridians to Fight Mandatory Minimum Sentences

Post Date: October 22, 2013

(The Grio) — Senator Dwight Bullard of District 39 sent a letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder requesting he take a closer look at Florida’s mandatory minimum gun laws as it relates to race.

In this letter Bullard highlights the high profile case of Marissa Alexander, who is a 33-year-old mother who shot a gun into a wall in an attempt to ward off an abusive husband and received 20 years in prison. The second case is that of Michael Giles, a former U.S. airman who shot a man in the leg in self-defense during a large brawl outside of a Tallahassee nightclub and received 25 years to life in prison.

Both were sentenced under Florida’s 10-20-life statute which is a controversial mandatory minimum sentencing law that requires courts to impose a minimum sentence of 10 years, 20 years, or 25 years to life for certain felony convictions involving the use or attempted use of a firearm or destructive device during the commission of a violent felony.

Senator Bullard believes that beyond its discriminatory nature, it’s the upholders of the law who are put in a difficult bind to provide appropriate sentences when faced with certain gun-related situations. Read more