Hi there,

This month Democracy Now! is celebrating 28 years on the air. Since our very first broadcast in 1996, Democracy Now! has been committed to bringing you the stories, voices and perspectives you won't hear anywhere else. In these times of war, climate chaos and elections, our reporting has never been more important. Can you donate $10 to keep us going strong? Today a generous donor will DOUBLE your donation, making it twice as valuable. Democracy Now! doesn't accept advertising income, corporate underwriting or government funding. That means we rely on you to make our work possible—and every dollar counts. Please make your gift now. Thank you so much.
-Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.

Donate

Florida State Attorney Who Oversaw Trayvon Martin & Marissa Alexander Cases Is Defeated in Primary

Listen
Media Options
Listen

In Florida, State Attorney Angela Corey has been defeated in her re-election bid. Corey had faced widespread criticism for her handling of several prominent cases, including the killing of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin by white neighborhood watch vigilante George Zimmerman and the case of Marissa Alexander, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing what she maintains was a warning shot at her abusive husband. For more, we speak with freelance journalist Victoria Law. Her recent piece for The Nation is “Why Is Marissa Alexander Still Being Punished for Fighting Back.”

Related Story

StoryNov 11, 2016“They Knew What was at Stake”: 2016 Latino Voter Turnout Higher for Clinton Than for Obama in 2012
Transcript
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: On a semi-related issue, I wanted to ask you, Victoria, about the piece you wrote in The Nation, “Why Is Marissa Alexander Still Being Punished for Fighting Back?” the famous case of the woman who fired a warning shot at her abusive husband. She was sentenced—what was it?—to 20 years in prison.

VICTORIA LAW: Twenty years in prison.

AMY GOODMAN: This was right around the time of Trayvon Martin. Now, the prosecutor, state attorney in Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit Court, Angela Corey, was just defeated in yesterday’s primary.

VICTORIA LAW: Yes. We can see that oftentimes, as we see in—as, hopefully, we do not see in Bresha’s case in the end, but as we see with many domestic violence survivors, that when they take actions to protect themselves, and almost always it’s self-defense, even if it’s not happening in the heat of the confrontation, but they see something in their abuser’s eyes, and they say, “This is it. You know, if I don’t do something, I’m going to end up dead. He is going to kill me.” And we see that prosecutors tend to go after them. Domestic violence is often dismissed as, quote-unquote, “the abuse excuse.” It’s disregarded. There is still not widespread recognition of the ways, the insidious ways, in which domestic violence works. So, they might say, “Well, why were you afraid of him if you weren’t being hit all the time?” And after a while, it’s not just the physical violence, it’s the threat of physical violence; it’s being conditioned to fear your loved one and to do what you need to do in order to avoid violence.

But we see, with Angela Corey charging Marissa Alexander, prosecuting her, and adding, at her discretion, the mandatory sentencing that allowed her to be sentenced to 20 years in prison, and then, when Marissa Alexander won her appeal, going after her again and threatening her with a 60-year sentence for firing a warning shot, in which no one was hurt and no one was killed—we see this again and again. What’s unusual with Marissa Alexander is the outpouring of support she got.

AMY GOODMAN: And again, Angela Corey defeated.

VICTORIA LAW: Yes.

AMY GOODMAN: And this is the same prosecutor who was in charge of the prosecution of George Zimmerman, who got off.

VICTORIA LAW: Yes.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you all for being with us. We’ll continue to follow Bresha’s case. Victoria Law, we’ll link to your pieces. Martina Latessa, thanks so much for being with us, Cleveland police detective in the Domestic Violence Unit, who is the aunt of Bresha, and Ian Friedman, her criminal defense attorney.

This is Democracy Now! When we come back, speaking of primaries yesterday, we’ll look at the primary results in Florida and in Arizona and in other places, with Jim Dean, head of [Democracy] for America. Stay with us.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Next story from this daily show

Sens. McCain & Rubio Beat Pro-Trump Challengers; Wasserman Schultz Survives Primary

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation
Top