Florida State Attorney Angela Corey is best known for failing to secure murder convictions for the killers of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis. Now, she intends to send Marissa Alexander to prison for 60 years — for firing a warning shot in self defense to stop her abusive husband.1
In 2012, Marissa was unjustly sentenced to 20 years in prison, and after immense public outrage by Black folks and our allies around the country, she won her appeal and was set free last September.2 Rejecting persistent calls to drop the case once and for all, Corey is ramping up her prosecution. It’s cruel and unacceptable. Now is our time to make it clear to Gov. Scott that national outrage over Marissa’s case is growing and unless he takes action to hold Corey accountable, there will be a political price to pay in his tight re-election campaign for Governor.
Known as the “killingest prosecutor,” Angela Corey has a long legacy of biased and overly harsh prosecutions when the defendant is Black.3 Over the past 5 years, Corey has sent 21 people to death row — more than any other FL prosecutor — 66% of which have been Black despite the fact that Black people account for only 16% of Corey’s district.4 Additionally, Corey’s refusal to acknowledge racial bias in the murder trials of George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn led to accusations of prosecutorial misconduct including withholding evidence, failing to prepare key witnesses, and ultimately derailing the case.5
Florida’s constitution gives Governor Scott the power and responsibility to intervene and ensure justice for Marissa and Florida as a whole.6 Black women are significantly more likely to be convicted for defending themselves against an abuser, and as long as Corey remains at her post we can expect Florida’s criminal justice system to continue to fail Black survivors of violence.7 By demanding that Gov. Scott hold Corey accountable for her actions and increase political pressure to free Marissa, we can take important steps to move forward a national conversation on the ways in which Black people are mistreated in our criminal justice system — and secure systemic change.
Thanks and Peace,
–Rashad, Matt, Arisha, William, Lyla and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team March 17th, 2014
Image art by DignidadRebelde.com
1. “Marissa Alexander’s sentence could triple in ‘warning-shot’ case,” The Florida Times-Union, 03-01-14 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3359?t=9&akid=3336.1174326.lLcS3M
2. See reference 1.
3. “Florida’s killingest prosecutor,” Washington Post, 03-13-14 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3361?t=11&akid=3336.1174326.lLcS3M
4. See reference 4.
5. “Zimmerman Prosecutors Duck the Race Issue,” The New York Times, 07-15-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3366?t=13&akid=3336.1174326.lLcS3M
6. “Constitution of the State of Florida” http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3374?t=15&akid=3336.1174326.lLcS3M
7. “Women’s Experiences of Abuse as a Risk Factor for Incarceration,” VAWNet.org, 12-01-02 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3373?t=17&akid=3336.1174326.lLcS3M