Sign the Petition

marissa alexander Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks with Marissa Alexander concerning her well-being and legal next steps from jail in Florida Tuesday.

Marissa Alexander is a 31-year-old mother of three with no prior criminal record. She was trapped in an abusive marriage—her husband was arrested twice for domestic violence—one time for an attack that put her in the hospital.


Alexander lives in Florida where “stand your ground laws” are in effect. Tired of being beaten by her abusive husband, one day in August 2010, she fired a warning shot to keep him away from her as he moved in to attack.


Her husband had her arrested and charges were filed. She was encouraged to plead guilty and accept a three-year prison sentence. Because she believed she was innocent, she chose to go to trial. When the case went to the jury, they returned a guilty verdict after just 12 minutes of deliberation and she was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Over 13,000 shootings and killings have been pardoned under Florida’s “stand your ground” law, but the law was not applied to Marissa Alexander’s case.

Read her story in her own words: