In the wake of the Trayvon Martin tragedy, much of the confusion and outrage surrounding the incident has centered on the “Stand Your Ground” law, which allows individuals confronted with violence or potential harm to use deadly means of defending themselves. The “Stand Your Ground” law was used to justify the Sanford Police Department’s decision to let George Zimmerman free without charge.

But why didn’t it protect Marissa Alexander, a wife and mother of three who stood her ground against an abusive husband, and now faces 20 years in prison?

Two years ago, Alexander was in a violent confrontation with her husband. According to Clutch Magazine, “her husband had a history of domestic violence and at the time of the confrontation, she had an injunction of protection against him.”

A recent blog post tells Marissa’s side of the story:

In an unprovoked jealous rage, my husband violently confronted me while using the restroom.  He assaulted me, shoving, strangling and holding me against my will, preventing me from fleeing all while I begged for him to leave.  After a minute or two of trying to escape, I was able to make it to the garage where my truck was parked, but in my haste to leave I realized my keys were missing.  I tried to open the garage but there was a mechanical failure. I was unable to leave, trapped in the dark with no way out.  For protection against further assault I retrieved my weapon; which is registered and I have a concealed weapon permit.  Trapped, no phone, I entered back into my home to either leave through another exit or obtain my cell phone.

He and my two stepsons were supposed to be exiting the house thru the front door, but he didn’t leave.  Instead he came into the kitchen that leads to the garage and realized I was unable to leave.  Instead of leaving thru the front door where his vehicle was parked outside of the garage, he came into the kitchen by himself.  I was terrified from the first encounter and feared he came to do as he had threatened.  The weapon was in my right hand down by my side and he yelled, “Bitch I will kill you!”, and charged toward me.  In fear and desperate attempt, I lifted my weapon up, turned away and discharged a single shot in the wall up in the ceiling.”

Marissa has been charged with three counts of aggravated assault with no intent to harm, and faces 20 years in prison. According to Loop21, Rev. Al Sharpton has vowed to advocate for Alexander’s release.

From Loop21:

“‘We’re definitely going to get involved in that, because I think she’s a glaring example of how they apply Stand Your Ground based on who you are, rather than what ground you’re standing,’ Sharpton said in a phone interview.”

Read more about Marissa Alexander’s ordeal at

Does Marissa Alexander deserve 20 years in prison?

Why did the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law help George Zimmerman, but fail Marissa Alexander?

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