Monday, March 03, 2014

REALLY, Florida???

So Marissa Alexander is set to go to trial now, for SIXTY YEARS for firing a shot into a wall, in the direction of her abusive estranged husband.

And someone says, "she didn't have to go back into the house." Really?

Reports say that she didn't live in the house, but had thought that the abusive estranged hubby wasn't home. Apparently, though it's not clear, there was something there she needed...? Either way, at the time of the incident, she did have a restraining order against him. I would like to think that she was as certain as she could be that he wasn't in the home before deliberately putting herself in this situation.  

The abusive estranged husband had already broken through the bathroom door and grabbed her by the throat, shoving her to the ground. According to the records, he was badgering her about the paternity of the child she'd given birth to "days" prior. 

She tried to leave, through the garage, but the door wouldn't open. I don't know - maybe Florida garages don't have service doors like ours do in Illinois.

I do wonder where the new baby was. But I don't have any indications in anything I've read on this matter.

See, here's what makes me angry. She was ALREADY convicted, for a term of 20 years (...though it was 3 counts. The judge combined the sentences to one of 20 years). This move by the judge, to have her serve the 3 sentences concurrently instead of consecutively, was what was tossed out by the 1st District Court of Appeal. Under Florida law, the original judge wasn't allowed to combine the charges that way. But wait... Different appeals courts in Florida have different opinions. Some say that Daniel CAN stack the sentences. Others say no. 

And so now the DA is re-trying it. What happened to double jeopardy? Anyway, this retrial, set for July, will (absent a plea agreement) will land this woman in jail for basically the rest of her life.

Because she fired a warning shot. At an abusive spouse who was charging her. The spouse claims that his kids, who were with him, were the victims here.

Well, yeah, probably. Because he chose that day to assault his estranged wife IN FRONT OF THEM. So that makes him what? Daddy of the Year??  

The Circuit Court judge, James Daniel, said during jury instructions that she had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she was abused. 

I would think a restraining order was "beyond a reasonable doubt." But you never know about juries, especially those in Florida. It took the first jury twelve minutes. TWELVE MINUTES. To find her guilty. 

What's outrageous if you have a conscience and a soul is that, just recently, two white guys got away with KILLING black kids. Using "Stand Your Ground," they claimed to be in fear of their lives. Uh-huh.

Like Marissa Alexander WASN'T? With an estranged, abusive husband choking her, as opposed to, say, loud music playing in a car? Or a kid walking through a neighborhood who "looked gangster"? 

This article in Huffington Post is even more galling. Apparently, Daddy of the Year has had multiple "baby mammas" and has "laid hands on each of them" according to his own words. 

Oh yeah, this guy wins Prince Charming awards everywhere he goes. Here's a link to a Daily Sundial blog that just about summarizes it: if you're black and/or female, I guess the law isn't on your side. Your Prince Charming can run his scraggly butt out of the house and claim YOU threatened him. Of course, after HE "laid hands" on you. 

I want to vomit. Here's the thing. I'm past 55 years of age and I'm white. I'm female, a feminist, and have worked for a long time in male-dominated fields. I know from discrimination and the "pink collar" crap. I also know how men can get really intimidated by bright, educated women. And that doesn't count the double-whammy of being black.

I am under no delusion that we are now a post-racial society since Barack Obama's election (twice) to the Presidency. I was, however, thinking that just maybe, in 2014, the US would perhaps, somewhat, a teeny tiny bit, be post-gender. 

Yes, the statistics regarding our political representation (18.5% in both House and Senate) and the number of CEOs (4% in the Fortune 500 companies, and 4.4% in the Fortune 1000) are still pathetic. And we won't even talk about why anyone with ovaries would be Republican.

But still. Michael Dunn could "stand his ground" in a parking lot. Marissa Alexander can't do that in a home she once occupied? At least Ms. Alexander was being physically assaulted. 

Dunn just didn't like the music. 

Concealed Carry in Illinois...

So today, as long as I'm ranting on domestic violence, I read that the State of Illinois' new/stupid law allowing the citizens to carry concealed weapons may have a loophole. A large, frightening loophole. 

As a side note, a pox on Representative Brandon Phelps, who sponsored this NRA-written law. May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your soft squishy parts. In your next life, may you come back as a worm. One of those night-crawlers that creep onto the sidewalks after a heavy rain -- you know, the ones everyone steps on...

Anyway. I digress. 

Under the current Illinois law, a person can be arrested for just about any offense including domestic battery.  Wait for it. You'd think, "Ok, ONE arrest and done."

Noooooooooo. You can be arrested up to five times within a 7-year period. Do you understand how incredibly ludicrous and stupid this is? How many times will it take to actually kill the woman you're assaulting? And those are only the situations where it's reported.

Domestic violence goes unreported. A lot. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence has put out a flyer outlining some of the statistics. They're not as current as I'd like but the numbers are still staggering. Add the availability of concealed carry to this. 

Then add the fact that Illinois is broke, and that the background checks may not extend across state lines.

Right now, the IL statute is more restrictive than the federal statute, and the "domestic battery" segment is the only misdemeanor in the federal statute. Of course, the gun lobby is going wild about this. They want that misdemeanor REMOVED from the federal statute. The US Supreme Court held oral arguments in a Tennessee case that would repeal the "Lautenberg" amendment and restore gun rights to convicted domestic abusers.

Let me repeat that. 

...restore gun rights to convicted domestic abusers.

Has your blood run cold yet? If not, check your pulse. Women in this country (and particularly in Florida) are going to become an endangered species unless we duck our eyes, follow our man 5 feet behind his noble self, and act as breeders. 

Yeah. That's how I wanted my future to be. 

Random Picture...

Satellite picture
I'm not in the mood for cute-puppy-pictures. However, I will use these, that I found on The Google... According to today's paper, about 80% of the Great Lakes is still frozen. That hasn't happened since the mid-1990s. Spring, groundhog to the contrary, will be late. 

But Mother Nature is certainly putting on a show for us. 



Ice Beard

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