Marissa Alexander Must Watch Her Every Step

With the court watching, she has to abide by the rules, or risk her status as a symbol of the mandatory-minimum-sentencing movement.

Marissa Alexander
Marissa Alexander YouTube

But that ridiculously harsh sentence, coupled with Alexander’s backstory—she was a battered woman (with a restraining order) and the mother of a toddler and 11-year-old twins—quickly generated an outpouring of public support.

A Free Marissa Now (pdf) campaign was formed, supporters marched and rallied. Her conviction was thrown out, a new trial scheduled and she was released from prison and put on home detention.

But this past week, something happened that threatened to push her in the direction, in my mind, of the Colvin standard.

State Attorney Angela Corey moved to revoke Alexander’s bond because she broke her detention to shop for clothes and to get her hair done and to run errands—one of which was to the home of her estranged husband’s brother.

Alexander went there briefly to see her sister-in-law, Gray’s brother’s wife, for money for her bond.

That worries me.

Her judgement worries me, because Alexander put herself in a situation in which she could possibly run into Gray after being ordered to stay away from him.

As it turned out, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office home-detention counselor who was overseeing Alexander’s case approved her trips. But the judge was highly displeased; he said the officer should have checked with him first.

Still, Alexander should not let this happen again.

If she gives prosecutors ammunition to paint her as impulsive and lawless, that could cause the public to focus on her character and not on the injustice of mandatory-minimum laws.