07.15.1311:49 AM ET

Standing Her Ground?

Zimmerman verdict renewed attention on case of Marissa Alexander, who was sentenced to 20 years after firing ‘warning shots.’

The acquittal of George Zimmerman has brought the case of Marissa Alexander, who was sentenced in 2012 to 20 years in prison after unsuccessfully invoking Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, back into the spotlight. Alexander, who is black, fired what she said were warning shots into a wall during a fight with her husband, who had twice been arrested for domestic battery. He was unhurt and she claimed self-defense, but she was convicted of aggravated assault. As MSNBC reports, “her sentencing fell under the guidelines of what’s known in Florida as the ‘10-20-Life law,’ which set certain mandatory minimum sentences for crimes committed with a firearm.” Under the law, anyone who discharges a firearm during the commission of a crime is automatically sentenced to 20 years in prison. The case was prosecuted by Angela Corey, who also oversaw the Zimmerman prosecution. She defended the sentence on the grounds that there were children nearby when Alexander fired the gun. The bullet, Corey said, “happened to deflect up into the ceiling, but if it had deflected down it could have hit one of the children.”