by Jason Silverstein, the Root.
On Aug. 1, 2010, Alexander, of Jacksonville, Fla. — then a 31-year-old mother of three with a 9-day-old baby — fired a single warning shot into her ceiling after her husband, who had been arrested twice on domestic-battery charges, threatened her. He allegedly said, “If I can’t have you, nobody going to have you.” The shot hit no one.
She believed that she had the legal right to defend herself under Florida’s “Stand your ground” law — the same defense that George Zimmerman has claimed in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. But a judge decided otherwise, applying the state’s 10-20-Life law, under which an assault with a firearm carries a steep penalty. Her sentence? A mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison.
Gun laws and domestic violence laws combine! and produce terrible outcomes. We can all agree on that, right?