WORD calls for freedom for Marissa Alexander

Free Marissa Alexander!

Marissa Alexander is in prison, sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot to stop her abusive husband from further assaulting her. She acted in self-defense and injured no one.

Marissa was defending herself from her then-husband, Rico Gray, a man who had beaten her both before and during her pregnancy. One incident sent her to the hospital with head injuries. Gray has a documented record of brutality towards other women. Past girlfriends testified about this abuse at Marissa Alexander's trial.  Yet the so-called justice system has left him free.  

Marissa showed great courage by standing up against her abuser and even further courage by rejecting a plea bargain, boldly stating that she had committed no crime. Her example of courage and strength in the face of brutal conditions speaks to the need to continue the struggle to end all violence against women.

There is no crime in defending yourself from abuse. Marissa is a hero, not a criminal. She should be free to start a new life free of abuse. 

Marissa is imprisoned in the same state where George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old. The same courts that sentenced Marissa to prison gave Zimmerman his freedom. The travesty of Marissa’s imprisonment and Zimmerman's freedom exposes the utterly racist nature of the criminal "justice" system in this country. Marissa is a victim of domestic abuse, racism, and an unjust legal system. 

This is the very opposite of justice.  A just system would not punish Marissa Alexander. A just system would provide her resources to start a new life free from violence and protected from her attacker. 

Today, September 14, is Marissa Alexander's birthday. She should be free to celebrate with her children on this day, not languishing in prison. WORD (Women Organized to Resist and Defend) is joining in the nationwide call for actions to recognize her birthday and call for her immediate release.

Free Marissa Alexander!