*Dear Ms. Corey,
This is an emotional letter to write as the topic affects so many women’s rights presently and for years to come. Your offices’ decision to seek a 60-year jail sentence for Marissa Alexander sends a terrible message that women not only no longer have the right to defend themselves,but also have to be subjected to abuse and belittlement. It signals to all domestic abuse survivors that violence against us will not be taken seriously and we most certainly could be subjected to excessively harsh prosecution as a result of defending ourselves. Murderers receive more consideration by the justice system. This is an outright political crime coming from the inside out. We should be able to rely on the judicial system to ensure that abuse comes with severe consequences. The actions of your office states just the opposite; abuse of women comes with little to no consequences and scaring off the offender will cause you almost a lifetime in jail.Are you telling us that we’d be better off taking our chances of the abuser not killing us – which is only a chance rather than to try and scare him away which could result in a 60 year sentence?
Yes I wrote ‘we’, as I am a victim of domestic violence and as I recall those times of my life, I can definitely relate to the fear and helplessness of Ms. Alexander during her incident. Have you ever been struck by someone weighing more than twice your own weight. I have, I know that fear, and I know that feeling. Her ex-husband has admitted to a history of abusing Marissa and other women in a deposition so there is no dispute of his violent past. Is your office saying that Ms. Alexander should have taken the beating or rather her ex-husband had the right to beat on her?
Your office has tried to revoke Marissa’s parole and it was later proven the proper authorities approved all travel. It just seems to the public eye that you have made this a personal vendetta between you and Ms. Alexander and this is no longer about just seeking justice.
Don’t make her the smokescreen needed to shield yourself from accusations of poorly handled trials and inability to secure guilty verdicts for the murders of the high profile cases of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis. At some point in time, even those that uphold the law must admit when the law is flawed. This woman has been severely failed by you and by the justice system. This case reaps of racism and sexism.
Florida once known as a tourist attraction is quickly becoming grave grounds for African Americans. A place that gives white men a right to “stand their ground” against racist stereotypes and allows them to defend themselves when feeling threatened but opposes an abused African American woman firing a warning shot and refuses the notion that her actions are anything but an act of self defense! Florida’s stand your ground law is a way of giving white men a green light to “put our African American young men in the ground and putting our African American women without grounds to stand up for their right not to be abused.
We don’t need law degrees to understand how two black teenagers are dead with no conviction for murder in either case; yet in a case where no one was injured let alone killed a woman is facing 60 years of her life. It is no secret that prosecutors have a huge amount of discretion and power. Your office could easily conclude those three years behind bars for self-defense is enough.
As a mother, a domestic abuse victim and a woman all of which I have in common with Marissa Alexander, I urge you to take the sentiments of many women worldwide into consideration. Don’t send the message that our lives have little to no value. Don’t support a prosecution that degrades the rights of African Americans or any ethnic group, and don’t send the message to abusers that if we attempt to defend our lives, we could get 60 years in prison!
About Deborah Smith Simpkins:
Deborah is a powerful motivational speaker, minister and author of such titles as Ministers with White Collars & Black Secrets, and her latest Accusers of the Ministry. Her life and spiritual walk is testament to the way God’s providence allows for pain, setbacks and challenging obstacles – but always with a rebirth and a sequel in mind. A preacher’s kid (PK) who grew up immersed in The Word, she is a domestic abuse victim who once had her jaw broken as a result of an abusive marriage. In recovery of her face, and self-esteem, she not only prayed for the healing of the physical – she also began to surrender to the arduous process of healing her soul. For more information please visit www.deborahsmithpublications.net