Marissa Alexander denied ability to use “Stand Your Ground” defense

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A Jacksonville woman’s request to use Florida’s so-called “stand your ground” law as a defense for charges that arose after she fired a gun at her husband has been denied by a judge.

In an order dated earlier this month, Duval County Circuit Court Judge James Daniel rejected 33-year-old Marissa Alexander’s request to use the defense at her trial, scheduled to begin Dec. 1.

Alexander was previously denied immunity under the state’s self-defense law and sentenced to 20 years in prison for three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

However, that conviction was thrown out by an appeals court, which ruled the trial court mistakenly put the burden on Alexander to prove her husband abused her and that she acted in self-defense.

Alexander says she was firing warning shots near her husband and his two children.

“The state stands ready to take this case to trial and seek justice for our two child victims and their father,” the State Attorney’s Office in Jacksonville said in a statement.

Daniel’s order said Florida law prohibits lower court judges like him from overturning legal issues that have been decided at higher court level, or by the original trial court.

“Although a later appellate decision from another district court recognized a difference in the standards for justifiable use of force under (Florida law), this court is without jurisdiction to alter the law of the case,” Daniel wrote.

“Even if the original decision on defendant’s ‘stand your ground’ motion was based on what may prove to be an inaccurate interpretation of the law.”

Alexander’s attorney Buddy Shulz said he is reviewing the judge’s ruling.

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.