When Marissa Alexander went to prison in 2012, she became a symbol of the shortcomings of Florida's stand your ground gun law.
Now that she's free, she's pushing to make it easier to use.
Alexander is a black mother who was a licensed gun owner when she shot at her estranged husband in 2010, saying she feared he'd hurt her. The bullet never even grazed the man but she was initially sentenced to up to 20 years in jail — making headlines just as George Zimmerman was famously walked free for fatally shooting young Trayvon Martin in the same state.
That perspective put her at the intersection of national debates on race, sentencing guidelines, and expanding stand-your-ground laws, which protect people who defend themselves against attackers.
Alexander, a self-described introvert whose conviction turned her into an advocate for criminal justice reform, has since sided with Florida Republicans who want to shift the burden of proof away from defendants when it comes to stand-your-ground defenses.
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