[oldembed width="425" height="300" src="http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/.element/apps/cvp/3.0/swf/cnn_416x234_embed.swf?context=embed&videoId=crime/2012/04/28/pkg-tuchman-stand-your-ground-defense-rejected.cnn" fid="18"] (h/t Patriot Actor)
I have a fundamental problem with the Stand Your Ground laws popping up around the country--including a long-standing version already in place in my home state of California--which is that it essentially codifies vigilantism in the most dangerous of possible ways, resulting in what police organizations warned would be legalized hate crimes.
Unfortunately, you have the NRA and its ALEC compatriots wrapping SYG laws with the sacrosanct mantle of the Second Amendment so that any kind of nuanced, intellectually honest discussion is impossible. However, what makes these bills so heinous is how inconsistently they're applied. For someone like George Zimmerman, he simply invokes it in a police interview and he's released without an investigation even though he's killed an unarmed boy simply walking down the street. For someone like Marissa Alexander--who had direct knowledge of past acts of violence and a threat against her life by the man she shot a warning shot at--it's dismissed out of hand.
Saying he had no discretion under state law, a judge sentenced a Jacksonville, Florida, woman to 20 years in prison Friday for firing a warning shot in an effort to scare off her abusive husband. Marissa Alexander unsuccessfully tried to use Florida's controversial "stand your ground" law to derail the prosecution, but a jury in March convicted her of aggravated assault after just 12 minutes of deliberation.[..]
"There is no justification for 20 years," Brown told Corey during an exchange frequently interrupted by onlookers. "All the community was asking for was mercy and justice," she said.
[..]Corey said the case deserved to be prosecuted because Alexander fired in the direction of a room where two children were standing.
I hate this law and all that it implies. But Marissa Alexander's choice to return into the house because not only were her children inside but she had no way to leave. She had a legitimate reason to feel reasonably threatened. Her husband had a criminal record of spousal abuse, had threatened to kill her and yet it is she who has to be taken away from her children for a twenty year sentence for aggravated assault? What kind of justice is that?