A blog by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration about justice and peace issues

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Marissa with her children. Photo by Gary Fineout: popularresistance.org
I want to share exciting news from the Southern Freedom Movement, a group that worked with Trayvon Martin‘s family down in Florida. They also support Marissa Alexander, a young mother who–for firing a gun, into the ceiling, in warning when attacked by her abusive partner–was sentenced to 20 years in prison. She was denied the protection of the Stand-Your-Ground law. And she is a young African American woman who–many believe–was prosecuted for being so and for owning a gun as well. As further evidence of the calculated racism of our justice system, Marissa’s story came out at the time of Trayvon’s murder. The Southern Freedom Movement took on her case and through hard work has won her a new trial. Read the organization’s address to its supporters below (reprinted from its original post)  and click on the links to learn more and take action. ~ Liz
Southern Freedom Movement
You supported the Walk for Dignity from Jacksonville to Sanford when the world was reeling in outrage that a U.S. court ruled Zimmerman innocent for the murder of an unarmed black youth.
We named two demands: that Marissa Alexander be set free and that Angela Corey, attorney in Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit Court, be fired. These demands resonated with the people we engaged in the neighborhoods, churches and community centers along that 122 mile journey.
Today, we are excited to share the incredible news that Marissa Alexander has been granted a new trial. Marissa was prosecuted by Angela Corey in Jacksonville Fla., in 2012 and sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot at the ceiling while being attacked by an abusive husband. These two cases exposed the systemic, institutional racism and deep injustices of the U.S. criminal courts. People across the country and in the South responded with action.
“Everyone in the Southern Freedom Movement had a role in this victory,” says Aleta Alston-Toure of the New Jim Crow Movement in Jacksonville who has been fighting the conviction with Marissa’s family and the Free Marissa Now international campaign.
“People have come together at the Southern Movement Assemblies and during the Walk for Dignity to confront injustice, including the criminalization of black women and domestic violence survivors. We took action, and we are going to get Marissa’s dignity back. And Angela Corey will get her due.”
Check out the news reports below, and we will keep you posted through the Free Marissa Now campaign about next steps and actions over the next few weeks. A trial date has not been set at this time. This day marks one step towards freedom. Your support helped make this happen.
US News & World Report
MSNBC
TV One
The Huffington Post

The Appeals Court decision can be obtained at http://opinions.1dca.org/written/opinions2013/09-26-2013/12-2469.pdf

 
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