By Richard Webster, examiner.com

Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville, Fla. was sentenced to 20 years in prison on July 12 for firing warning shots inside her home in an effort to protect herself from her allegedly abusive husband. Alexander had requested a new trial based upon her state’s “Stand Your Ground” law, but was denied that request.

Judge rejected a defense under Florida's 'Stand Your Ground' law, the same law that George Zimmerman used in his defense against the shooting of Fla. teen Trayvon Martin.

Judge rejected a defense under Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law, the same law that George Zimmerman used in his defense against the shooting of Fla. teen Trayvon Martin.

After those shots were fired in August 2010, Alexander explained to police that they were fired to avoid “a brutal beating by her husband, against whom she had already taken out a protective order.”

Circuit Court Judge James Daniel could have levied a lesser sentence against Alexander, who had a clean criminal record and never had any prior problems with the law.

Judge rejected a defense under Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law, the same law that George Zimmerman used in his defense against the shooting of Fla. teen Trayvon Martin. According to the judge though, “the law did not allow for extenuating or mitigating circumstances to reduce the sentence below the 20-year minimum.”

Alexander’s 11-year-old daughter was present in court Friday for her mother’s sentencing. “I really was crying in there,” the daughter said. “I didn’t want to cry in court, but I just really feel hurt. I don’t think this should have been happening.”

Alexander, who said that she didn’t feel as if she had done anything wrong, had previously been convicted of attempted murder.

Alexander’s case has drawn support from domestic abuse advocates – and comparison to the case of neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who has claimed a “Stand Your Ground” defense in his fatal shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

Lawyers for the defense in the Alexander case say that the Fla. mom “was clearly defending herself and should not have to spend the next two decades behind bars.” The “Stand Your Ground” law states that crime victims can immediately retaliate in their own self-defense and do not have to flee for safety.

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