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Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:14 AM

 

Fla. mom gets 20 years for firing warning shots

CBS News/ May 12, 2012

(CBS News) JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Florida woman who fired warning shots against her allegedly abusive husband has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville had said the state's "Stand Your Ground" law should apply to her because she was defending herself against her allegedly abusive husband when she fired warning shots inside her home in August 2010. She told police it was to escape a brutal beating by her husband, against whom she had already taken out a protective order.

CBS Affiliate WETV reports that Circuit Court Judge James Daniel handed down the sentence Friday.

Under Florida's mandatory minimum sentencing requirements Alexander could receive a lesser sentence, even though she has never been in trouble with the law before. Judge Daniel said the law did not allow for extenuating or mitigating circumstances to reduce the sentence below the 20-year minimum.

""I really was crying in there," Marissa's 11-year-old daughter told WETV. "I didn't want to cry in court, but I just really feel hurt. I don't think this should have been happening."

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57433184/fla-mom-gets-20-years-for-firing-warning-shots/

60 replies, 3091 views

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Reply Fla. mom gets 20 years for firing warning shots (Original post)
HarveyDarkey Jul 2013 OP
left on green only Jul 2013 #1
HiPointDem Jul 2013 #3
HarveyDarkey Jul 2013 #5
bluestate10 Jul 2013 #19
burnodo Jul 2013 #30
left on green only Jul 2013 #58
liberal_at_heart Jul 2013 #2
treestar Jul 2013 #4
bobduca Jul 2013 #6
bluestate10 Jul 2013 #18
X_Digger Jul 2013 #7
Nevernose Jul 2013 #10
burnodo Jul 2013 #31
X_Digger Jul 2013 #35
burnodo Jul 2013 #38
X_Digger Jul 2013 #39
burnodo Jul 2013 #42
X_Digger Jul 2013 #44
TheDebbieDee Jul 2013 #8
Nye Bevan Jul 2013 #9
kdmorris Jul 2013 #27
GiaGiovanni Jul 2013 #11
Niceguy1 Jul 2013 #13
bluestate10 Jul 2013 #17
Niceguy1 Jul 2013 #21
burnodo Jul 2013 #43
burnodo Jul 2013 #33
GiaGiovanni Jul 2013 #48
Adsos Letter Jul 2013 #50
GiaGiovanni Jul 2013 #53
Adsos Letter Jul 2013 #54
GiaGiovanni Jul 2013 #56
Adsos Letter Jul 2013 #57
DirkGently Jul 2013 #45
Cha Jul 2013 #12
X_Digger Jul 2013 #36
Cha Jul 2013 #49
X_Digger Jul 2013 #55
DirkGently Jul 2013 #47
Skeeter Barnes Jul 2013 #14
bluestate10 Jul 2013 #16
Skeeter Barnes Jul 2013 #24
bluestate10 Jul 2013 #15
npk Jul 2013 #32
Lee-Lee Jul 2013 #20
X_Digger Jul 2013 #37
TransitJohn Jul 2013 #22
hack89 Jul 2013 #23
ManiacJoe Jul 2013 #25
msanthrope Jul 2013 #26
DeschutesRiver Jul 2013 #28
msanthrope Jul 2013 #29
DirkGently Jul 2013 #34
Lurks Often Jul 2013 #40
aikoaiko Jul 2013 #41
Sheepshank Jul 2013 #46
Adsos Letter Jul 2013 #51
X_Digger Jul 2013 #59
City Lights Jul 2013 #52
onenote Jul 2013 #60

Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:19 AM

1. Of Course

She is black. What did you expect?

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Response to left on green only (Reply #1)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:19 AM

3. fuck florida and its fake 'justice'

 

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Response to left on green only (Reply #1)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:21 AM

5. My thought exactly

 

and she didn't kill anyone

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Response to left on green only (Reply #1)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 06:38 AM

19. Her outcome was likely due more to her being poor than being Black.

If the woman was a Black, highly paid person who could hire top defense lawyers, she would likely be walking free today. As things are, someone in a position of authority should get her sentence reduced to time served. The Florida law as it is promotes killing people so that self defense can be invoked.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #19)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:40 AM

30. so justice is all about how much you're able to purchase?

 

That belies any notion that the US is somehow more evolved than anyone else

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #19)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 05:35 PM

58. But if she was white to begin with, I believe she would have never needed to hire....

...an attorney in the first place, because I am guessing she never would have been charged. Therefore it wouldn't have mattered if she had been poor.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:19 AM

2. and Zimmerman goes free!

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:20 AM

4. what the



20 years?

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:21 AM

6. Its a Racist Misogynist Mash Up!

Thanks Florida!

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Response to bobduca (Reply #6)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 06:35 AM

18. It has more to do with class than race. The woman was likely represented by a public defender.

Zimmerman was able to hire top defense lawyers.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:22 AM

7. Didn't she go out to her truck, get the gun, and come back inside?

Kind of hard to claim self-defense when you leave and come back, then don't aim at the threat..

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #7)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:24 AM

10. Yes, she did

And her "warning shots" went through the wall at chest level and damned near hit the kids in the next room.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #7)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:42 AM

31. And her only recourse was to shoot him?

 

what a bunch of shit

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Response to burnodo (Reply #31)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:47 AM

35. If a reasonable person in her position would fear imminent grievous bodily harm or death, then yes.

If not, then shooting at all was reckless.

Discharging a firearm, using deadly force, is not appropriate to win an argument or intimidate.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #35)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:51 AM

38. so.... she should have just sat around and submitted to being beaten

 

because she wasn't in imminent danger of being killed and didnt have quick access to the gun

Gotcha.

By the way...discharging a firearm is equivalent to using deadly force?

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Response to burnodo (Reply #38)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:54 AM

39. Discharging a firearm in a house is using deadly force, yes.

Perhaps you're not familiar with the details of the case, but it appears that she left, came back, and fired a warning shot- which demonstrates that any threat she feared was not imminent.

The mandatory sentencing laws are crazy, but I think this case isn't one to hang your hat on.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #39)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:59 AM

42. Left....her own house?

 

The man she had a protective order against still inside. Her children were inside, very possibly under threat from the abuser. And you're saying, with a straight face, she wasn't justified in firing warning shots because he wasn't threatening to kill her at that moment?

And if shooting a gun is the same thing as shooting it with the intention of hitting someone with a bullet, then we are truly denizens of Bizarro world.

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Response to burnodo (Reply #42)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 12:01 PM

44. Err.. she wasn't living there at the time. You really don't know the details of this case, do you?

Warning shots are a hollywood (and TeeVee) myth.

Speak to a lawyer, if you need more information.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:22 AM

8. She got 20 years and she did even kill anybody! Did you hear about this, GZ jurors?

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:23 AM

9. A humane governor would commute that sentence (nt)

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #9)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 09:50 AM

27. Yeah, we have the felonious Skeletor for governor, though

One thing Rick Scott will never be accused of is being "humane" (or even "human" some days)

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:27 AM

11. People do not understand what self-defense means in domestic violence cases

 

They figure that. unless the woman is having her head cracked open by a husband who is beating the crap out of her, her life is not in danger.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #11)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 03:35 AM

13. she wasn't in danger when she fired the

She went to her car and returned with a gun....it is hard to claim self defense when you leave safety and go back into danger. From what I have read she is guilty. . But not for 20 years.

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Response to Niceguy1 (Reply #13)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 06:33 AM

17. Zimmerman left the safety of his SUV and pursued Martin. I don't get your point,

other than 20 years for the woman is an insane outcome.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #17)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 07:17 AM

21. zimm never was in a safe

Area once tthe fight started. Before that doesn't. Matter

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Response to Niceguy1 (Reply #21)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 12:01 PM

43. What safe area was Trayvon in???

 

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Response to Niceguy1 (Reply #13)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:43 AM

33. guilty of shooting a gun?

 

If that was the case, most police would be in jail now.

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Response to Niceguy1 (Reply #13)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 02:43 PM

48. If you make these kinds of claims, you need to provide links to credible sources

 

I will read them if you provide them.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #48)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 03:12 PM

50. Here you go.

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Response to Adsos Letter (Reply #50)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 03:23 PM

53. Thank you. This definitely puts a different picture on the series of events.

 

I can see why she was convicted.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #53)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 03:24 PM

54. I agree, but I think the sentence was unduly harsh.

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Response to Adsos Letter (Reply #54)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 04:18 PM

56. I wonder if it was because there were children involved

 

A stray gunshot could have hit one of the kids. Juries are not kind when it comes to little kids being in the line of fire, especially by a parent who should know better.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #56)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 04:24 PM

57. Possibly. Someone mentioned mandatory minimums.

Don't know if that was the deciding factor, or not.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #11)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 12:05 PM

45. She was in his house, the back door was open.

He was fleeing with the two children. He called 911. She said, "I have something for you @ss," got a gun out of her glove compartment, and fired through a wall toward him and the children. She was offered a 3-yr sentence and turned it down.

This case has been misrepresented.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 01:45 AM

12. What! Marissa couldn't shoot warning shots in her own house?

20 fucking years and Zimmerman walks for killing a child trying to get home?

this is insane.

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Response to Cha (Reply #12)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:48 AM

36. Warning shots are a bad idea. Thanks Hollywood!

It demonstrates that you are not in imminent danger of death or grievous bodily harm.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #36)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 03:09 PM

49. It "demonstrates" fair warning that you have a gun.

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Response to Cha (Reply #49)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 03:26 PM

55. No, saying "I have a gun" and showing a holstered weapon does that.

Pulling one out and waving it around is brandishing, and firing a warning shot is reckless endangerment / reckless discharge.

Seriously, warning shots are a Hollywood myth. Talk to a cop or a lawyer, don't take my word for it.

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Response to Cha (Reply #12)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 12:27 PM

47. She had moved out. She shot at her husband and her kids.


She had returned after leaving over his alleged domestic violence. They fought. She punched *him* in the face, leaving him with a black eye. As he and the kids were leaving, she told him she had something "for his ass," got a gun out of her glove compartment and fired toward them through a wall. He called 911. She later said she couldn't escape the house, but the husband and kids were leaving and the back door, away from the action, was available. She turned down a 3-yr plea deal. The kids, 13 and 9, apparently did not back her story.

20 years is probably still insane. But the sources pushing this as a great injustice are deliberately skirting the facts.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 05:16 AM

14. People see the good guys in movies fire warning shots so they think its a good idea.

It's reckless discharge of a firearm and it's illegal. If you are being attacked, fire at the attacker if you fear grave bodily harm. If you are not in fear for your life, don't pull the trigger. IIRC, she fired two shots. That's two fewer rounds available to her if she actually did need to stop the guy.

More recently, Case Nine took place in the Southeast. A young man was violently attacked in a driveway—as he tried to exit the scene, and when the side window of his car was smashed in by one of his multiple assailants, he came up with a .38 and fired, stopping the attacker, who died from the gunfire. As he backed into the street, he fired again into the air. He said later that he did so to keep them from harming him. That single bullet, intentionally fired upward, buried itself harmlessly in a building. A skilled defense lawyer won him an acquittal on the grounds of self-defense for the fatal shooting itself, but the jury found him guilty of the lesser included offense of recklessly firing that last shot, and he wound up serving hard time with a criminal conviction on the record for the rest of his life.

The bottom line is, there are good reasons why police are forbidden to fire warning shots, and why wise armed citizens don’t put the warning shot in their repertoire of defensive responses. Be able to explain why you didn’t fire a warning shot…and share with those who seek your advice why they shouldn’t fire one, either.


http://www.tactical-life.com/combat-handguns/warning-shot-misconceptions/

20 years in prison is insane, though. There needs to be some way for judges to show some leniency. She wasn't in trouble before and this was a threatening situation for sure.

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Response to Skeeter Barnes (Reply #14)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 06:31 AM

16. Laws should be the other way around. The law, as you stated it, promotes killing

or seriously injuring people as the only resort to stopping an attack or potential attack. That is ass back-wards.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #16)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 08:11 AM

24. On the contrary, it promotes shooting only in self defense to protect innocent lives.

And those instances are very rare.

Have you thought about why there are laws against firing a gun into the floor or in the air, for example, to impose your will on another person? It's for good reason as the author of the article explained.

Firing a gun is not something to be used to frighten someone into leaving your house or to get them to stop yelling at you. It's only for when you are in grave enough danger that you have to shoot the person coming after you.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 06:26 AM

15. You missed that she appears to be poor. If Zimmerman couldn't get money

to defend himself, he would have been convicted. Money plays an even bigger part in jury convictions that race does, despite any claim otherwise. An educated person who speaks well and comes off as clean cut and successful, and can hire top lawyers is going to get a different result than a person who can't get out a clear sentence, looks downtrodden and is defended by a public defender.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #15)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:43 AM

32. Great point

It really does come down to how society views certain groups of people, often race is a issue, but poor versus well off plays an even larger role in my mind.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 06:45 AM

20. This case is jacked up all around

Self defense is off the table, because she left the scene, got a gun, and returned. Had she been carrying the gun, she would likely be free today.

Mandatory minimum sentences are fucked up.

And it shows how worthless a restraining order really is.

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Response to Lee-Lee (Reply #20)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:49 AM

37. If she'd been carrying the gun, but fired warning shots, she'd be in the same place. n/t

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 07:19 AM

22. She should've killed him to make sure she wouldn't go to jail. dom

n/t

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 07:32 AM

23. She left the house, got a gun and went back in to confront her husband

how is in any way SYG?

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 09:44 AM

25. The shots were not warning shots,

if I remember the news reports correctly.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 09:50 AM

26. Guess who prosecuted her? Angela Corey. nt

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #26)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 10:11 AM

28. I watched angela corey smiling like she had won last night, now i understand

Her smug attititde. Having zimmerman go free was a win for her.

Between this csse, zimmerman and the FL driver license law, i am revising any plans to visit FL. There are many good placed and people that i already know and enjoy.

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Response to DeschutesRiver (Reply #28)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:36 AM

29. If you have political aspirations in Florida you must appeal to the Saltine-

American contingent.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:47 AM

34. She fired through a wall, toward her children.


I was outraged about this one too, but it's not so clear-cut as some sources maintain. The husband says he was fleeing her assault on him, in which she punched him in the face, when she said "I've got something for your @ss" and ran back to get a gun. The physical evidence suggests she fired, not into the ceiling, but through a wall at "adult height" toward where her husband and children were standing. She was convicted, not of just discharging a firearm, but of doing so in the commission of a felony -- assault.


http://thegrio.com/2012/05/15/angela-corey-lashes-out-at-critics-of-marissa-alexander-prosecution/#s:angela-corey-4x3-jpg
“You have to compare what said to what the victims said. There were two young children there as well. None of the physical evidence corroborates her story. There was the 911 call … and you can clearly hear the distress in Rico Gray’s voice. They had a verbal argument he said ‘I’m outta here,’ and she said, ‘I’ve got something for you.’”

Though what happened inside that house on Woodley Creek Road remains in dispute, one thing both sides in the case agree on is that Gray and Alexander were arguing about text messages Alexander had sent to her former husband, Lincoln Alexander, including pictures of her new baby with Gray.

When Gray saw the texts, a fight ensued in the home’s master bathroom, which eventually spilled out into the kitchen. At some point, Alexander went to the garage and got her semi-automatic pistol. She has claimed she went into the garage to flee, but the automatic door wasn’t working, and she realized she had left her keys and cellphone inside. For whatever reason, she went back into the house and confronted Gray, firing a single shot, which Lincoln Alexander and Marissa, on her website, maintain was a warning shot fired into the air. But Corey says that shot was fired at “adult height,” directly at Gray, who was standing in the adjacent living room with his sons, who were aged 9 and 13 at the time

” told his boys, ‘get your clothes, we’re out of here.’ And she and went in the garage and into the glove compartment, got out a gun, got it in a ‘ready to fire’ position — it’s a semiautomatic and it had the safety off, and she had a round in the chamber,” Corey said. “And she walked back into the kitchen and fired the gun at him. He was standing the living room and it went through the wall at about adult head height, and ricocheted off the roof or the wall. And thank God it didn’t hit one of the kids.”

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:56 AM

40. Marissa Alexander was not living in the house at the time of the incident, her husband was

When I first heard about this case I was as outraged as everybody else, enough to do some research.

According to the state's case Marissa Alexander went to the house where her husband was living, thinking he wasn't home to get some clothes and other possessions. She pulled her car into the garage and closed the garage door. She encounters the husband with their two children. She then leaves the house, goes into the garage and re-enters the house and fires what the defense called a warning shot, which impacted at the same height as the husband.

1. Warning shots are illegal, first you either fear for your life or you do not. If you do not fear for your life, then you have no right to discharge the firearm. If you DO fear for your life, then you shoot the person attacking you. Additionally warning shots are usually considered reckless, because you do not know where the bullet is going to end up and your are responsible for that bullet. Meaning if you fire a warning shot and hits and kills a person walking down the street you are going to jail for manslaughter.

2. Alexander claimed that she went out to her car and tried to leave, but the garage door, which had worked just minutes before, would not open.

3. Alexander was offered a plea bargain that would have have seen face no additional jail time other then the time she had already served. Alexander and her attorney declined.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 11:59 AM

41. Angela Corey doesn't give much credence to self-defense claims.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 12:09 PM

46. Florida's legal system doesn't seem rational or consistent.....or safe.

There will be no Sheepshank family visits or vacations to a place that I wouldn't feel safe. Granted my few grand in spending won't make much of a dent in the tourist money they rely upon...but I don't think I'm the only one.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 03:17 PM

51. This LINK may clarify some things...

http://www.scribd.com/doc/89763383/States-Motion-in-Opposition-of-Defendants-Motion-for-Immunity

Seems like there is more to the story, or at least another side.

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Response to Adsos Letter (Reply #51)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 05:58 PM

59. Thanks for that. n/t

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 03:18 PM

52. Floriduh is FUCKED up.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 06:05 PM

60. The 20 year sentence was the product of a mandatory sentencing law

for crimes committed with a firearm -- the sort of law that many anti gun/anti violence groups and their supporters (including myself) have pushed for.

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20111213/harlem/harlem-antiviolence-groups-call-for-tougher-gun-penalties-after-shooting

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