Tag Archives: Stand Your Ground

Ruling Against Rape Victim in Alabama, Say Critics, Shows Stand-Your-Ground Laws ‘Not Created for Women’

Brittany Smith’s attorneys plan to appeal the decision.

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 2-4-2020

A judge in Alabama rejected a woman’s “Stand Your Ground” defense regarding the shooting of her alleged rapist. (Photo: Lori Shaull/Flickr/cc)

A woman in Alabama could face life in prison after losing her “Stand Your Ground” hearing in spite of testifying she shot a man in her home in January 2018 because he raped her and attacked her brother.

Brittany Smith was charged with first-degree murder after killing Todd Smith, her acquaintance, but sought immunity from prosecution citing Alabama’s Stand Your Ground law. The state is one of 25 with laws that ostensibly permit the use of deadly force in the case of self-defense in the case of a burglary or the threat of violence. Continue reading

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Home After The Holidays

Back in March, we wrote about Marissa Alexander, the Jacksonville, Florida woman who had been sentenced to twenty years in prison for three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after firing her gun into the ceiling to stop her abusive estranged husband.

She had used the same “stand your ground” defense that George Zimmerman had used in his trial for the killing of Trayvon Martin, and the same prosecuting attorney was involved; State Attorney Angela Corey. However, unlike Zimmerman, who was found not guilty after killing Martin, Marissa was found guilty and sentenced to three concurrent twenty year sentences (in 13 minutes, none the less) for firing a gun into a ceiling under Florida’s mandatory minimum guidelines. The other differences? Zimmerman is white and a male, while Marissa is black and a woman. Continue reading

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