*(Jacksonville, FL) – Today an appellate court granted a retrial to Marissa Alexander, the African-American woman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot in a wall of her home during a dispute with her husband.
NAACP leaders made the following statements:
“This is a welcome development in a case that represents the double standards in our justice system,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “From the streets to the court house, race continues to influence the judicial process, and it certainly seemed to have played a role here.”
“We are heartened to hear that this decision has been made, and we are hopeful that accessibility to a fair trial will continue for Marissa,” stated NAACP Florida State Conference President Adora Obi Nweze. “We have so many cases of injustice in Florida, and while we only hear about one or two, there are so many more that go unreported. We will continue fighting for all the other Marissa Alexanders out there.”
“This is a great day for Marissa and her family. In working with her, we have always believed in the judicial system,” stated Isaiah Rumlin, President of the Jacksonville NAACP. “There were some mistakes made in the original trial, and the appellate court was able to correct those mistakes and grant a new trial. We are very pleased that the appellate court did that. We will continue to work with her lawyers to see it through.”
In July 2012, the NAACP held a rally attended by hundreds of people in support of Ms. Alexander, in her home town of Jacksonville, Florida.