No Second Self-Defense Immunity Hearing for Marissa Alexander

Marissa Alexander has been denied a second shot at a self-defense immunity hearing (often incorrectly referred to as a “Stand-Your-Ground’ hearing), reports by First Coast News.

Under Florida’s self-defense immunity statute (FL 776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force) a person claiming self-defense can seek immunity from criminal prosecution and civil suit.  To do so they generally request a hearing in court in which they present their evidence in support of self-defense.

If the hearing judge determines that there is a preponderance of the evidence in support of self-defense, immunity is granted.  Given that a preponderance of the evidence is a vastly greater level of proof than the reasonable doubt required to sustain a claim of self-defense at trial, this approach only makes common sense.

To read my whole post on this news, click on over to Legal Insurrection:

No Second Self-Defense Immunity Hearing for Marissa Alexander

Florida’s just-signed “warning shot” law unlikely to help Marissa Alexander

Hey folks,

It was with considerable astonishment that I read the following headline in an ABC news post:

Marissa Alexander, who fired warning shot at husband attacking her, likely won’t see prison after Florida changes ‘Stand Your Ground’ law

One wonders if they had to work extra hard to get four errors into a single headline, or if it’s just a talent. I guess we’ll never know, because no authorship is associated with the piece. If I’d written this post, I’d want to be anonymous, too. To take a look at the errors one at a time, check out the full-length post over at Legal Insurrection:

Florida’s just-signed “warning shot” law unlikely to help Marissa Alexander

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere. In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country. Seminars for 2014 are currently being scheduled, if you’d like to see one held in your area fill out the comment box on the LOSD Seminar review page, where you can also see reviews of recently completed seminars in New Hampshire, Maine, Texas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and elsewhere. Andrew is also a contributing author on self defense law topics to Combat Handguns, Ammoland.com, Legal Insurrection, and others. You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

Florida “Warning Shot” Bill Signed Into Law

Hey folks,

Well, it’s about time. Today, Florida’s Governor Rick Scott finally signed the “Warning Shot” bill (HB-89) that had been passed by the state House and Senate and sent to his desk way back in early April (h/t Miguel, over at Gun Free Zone). I won’t go into all the ways that this bill is NOT a “warning shot” bill, because I’ve already done so, here: Florida “Warning Shot” Bill Passes Senate, Heads to Governor’s Desk.

For the full-length post, head over to Legal Insurrection:

Florida’s just-signed “warning shot” law unlikely to help Marissa Alexander

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He holds many state-specific Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and produces a series of Law of Self Defense Videocasts and Podcasts available on iTunes, Stitcher, and RSS).

Marissa Alexander’s Desperate Efforts for Self-Defense Immunity Hearing Delayed Again

Hey folks,

Marissa Alexander was back in court today for a pre-trial hearing on whether she will be granted yet another shot at self-defense immunity under Florida statute FL 776.032: Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.  

In what has become an all too familiar pattern in this case, however, Duval County Circuit Court Judge James Daniel decided to punt the decision further down the calendar.  Whether to allow a self-defense immunity hearing is now delayed until August 1.

The Issues Prompting Judge Daniel’s Delay on Self-Defense Immunity Decision

As reported at First Coast News and other news media, Judge Daniel appears to be struggling with two issues in particular.

The first is whether a defendant should ever be permitted to have multiple self-defense immunity hearings.  The concern here is that defendants will simply seek successive self-defense immunity hearings every time an earlier one goes against them, resulting in long delays in trial.

On this point the defense, in the person of high-profile litigator Faith Gay, is arguing that they have new evidence–notably, the changed testimony of one of the minor children at which Alexander fired her bullet, who they say is now prepared to testify that their father charged Alexander and thus justified her use of deadly force in self-defense.  Of course, this new evidence, even if true, does nothing to change the fact that Alexander had achieved a position of safety, armed herself with a firearm, and returned to the conflict, behavior utterly inconsistent with any reasonable claim of self-defense.

To read the whole thing, hop on over to the full-length post at Legal Insurrection:

Marissa Alexander’s Desperate Efforts for Self-Defense Immunity Hearing Delayed Again

FYI, for those of you near Charlotte, NC, don’t forget I have “Law of Self Defense Seminar” taking place there this coming Saturday, June 21. The following weekend I’m back at the Sig Sauer Academy, where I’m a Guest Instructor, holding a “Law of Self Defense Seminar” on Sunday, June 29.

Also, if you haven’t yet heard about the newly launched Law of Self Defense Videocasts and Podcasts available on iTunes, Stitcher, and RSS, be sure to check them out, too.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He holds many state-specific Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and produces a series of Law of Self Defense Videocasts and Podcasts available on iTunes, Stitcher, and RSS).

Upcoming Florida Sup Ct ruling on 10-20-Life sentences may seal Marissa Alexander’s fate

Hey folks,

Sometimes “seeing the sausage get made” is just no fun at all.

This past week the Florida Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that hinges on whether sentences under 10-20-Life must be served consecutively, or whether sentencing judges have the discretion to order these served concurrently.

With a backdrop of often ambiguous precedent decisions by both lower appellate courts and the state Supreme Court itself, as well as a sense that in some cases these mandatory sentences are resulting in disproportionate punishment, at the end of the day the entire argument appears to hinge on a single word:  “other.”

State v. Williams:  The Facts of the Case & Trial Outcome

In 2010 Ronald Williams, then 26, became angry when four gay men outside a house across the street began making sexual remarks towards him.  Williams’ response was to point a .357 Magnum pistol at them, then fire five shots into the air.  None of the four men were injured by the shots. The police were called, Williams fled but was caught and arrested.  He was charged with four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, as well as resisting arrest with violence.  The jury found him guilty on all four charges.

To read the whole thing, head over to the full-length post at Legal Insurrection:

Upcoming Florida Sup Ct ruling on 10-20-Life sentences may seal Marissa Alexander’s fate

FYI, for those of you near Charlotte, NC, don’t forget I have “Law of Self Defense Seminar” taking place there this coming Saturday, June 21. The following weekend I’m back at the Sig Sauer Academy, where I’m a Guest Instructor, holding a “Law of Self Defense Seminar” on Sunday, June 29.

Also, if you haven’t yet heard about the newly launched Law of Self Defense Videocasts and Podcasts available on iTunes, Stitcher, and RSS, be sure to check them out, too.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He holds many state-specific Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and produces a series of Law of Self Defense Videocasts and Podcasts available on iTunes, Stitcher, and RSS).

Florida “Warning Shot” bill heads to Governor. What's it REALLY say?

Hey folks,

Today the Florida Senate voted overwhelmingly (32 to 7) to pass SB-448, the state’s so-called “warning shot” bill. The same bill was passed overwhelmingly (93 to 24) by the Florida House, as HB-89, just two weeks. As a result, the bill now proceeds to the desk of Governor Rick Scott, who seems certain to sign it into law.

Much of the discussion of SB-448 is replete with terms like “warning shot” and “stand-your-ground.” In reality, however, the law does not even mention the term “warning shot,” nor does it make any substantive changes whatever to Florida’s stand-your-ground law.

So, what exactly does SB-448 do?  For the full analysis, check out my post over at Legal Insurrection:

Florida “Warning Shot” Bill Passes Senate, Heads to Governor’s Desk

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–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

Angela Corey Reminds FL Legislators of Facts of Marissa Alexander Case

Hey folks,

Florida State Attorney Angela Corey today sent an email to Florida legislators for the stated purpose of informing them of the facts of the Marissa Alexander “warning shot” case in case they are asked about it by constituents.  The email includes an attachment that outlines the facts of the case, all quite devastating to Alexander’s claims of innocence.  Corey’s transmission of this email has been reported by numerous news outlets, including the Florida Times-Union newspaper.

None of the facts contained in Corey’s email should be unfamiliar to loyal Legal Insurrection readers, but it’s always interesting to hear them from the Prosecutor’s “mouth,” so to speak.  Also, some of the included content — such as the layout of the house, the 911 calls, and photos of Rico Gray’s injuries — have not previously been available to us to report, and are embedded below.

Alexander’s supporters, who only a couple of weeks ago were calling for Corey’s resignation over her handling of the Alexander case (see NOW calls for Angela Corey to resign over Marissa Alexander case), are fairly howling in outrage in the face of this factual disclosure.

For my full post on Corey’s email to legislators, check out Legal Insurrection:

Angela Corey Reminds FL Legislators of Facts of Marissa Alexander Case

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere. In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country. Seminars for 2014 are currently being scheduled, if you’d like to see one held in your area fill out the comment box on the LOSD Seminar review page, where you can also see reviews of recently completed seminars in New Hampshire, Maine, Texas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and elsewhere. Andrew is also a contributing author on self defense law topics to Combat Handguns, Ammoland.com, Legal Insurrection, and others. You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

Marissa Alexander May See Sentence Triple to 60 Years

Hey folks,

An interesting quirk of Florida sentencing procedures has reared its head in the Marissa Alexander case, and will almost certainly impact the sentencing of Michael Dunn on March 24, as well. The issue: can the multiple convictions under Florida’s infamous “10-20-Life” statute be sentenced concurrently–served in parallel with each other–or sentenced consecutively–so that they are cumulative.

In the case of Dunn, the difference would be between a sentence of as “little” as 20 years to one of 75 years (that’s not counting the sentence for his future conviction for the murder of Jordan Davis, which I fully expect will be coming down the pike).

In the case of Marissa Alexander, the difference would be between the 20 year sentence which was tossed out when she was granted a re-trial to a sentence of 60 years–effectively a life sentence. By appealing here original conviction, then, Alexander has potentially placed herself at risk of tripling her already lengthy sentence.

For the full story, check out my post over at Legal Insurrection:

Marissa Alexander May See Sentence Triple to 60 Years

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere. In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country. Seminars for 2014 are currently being scheduled, if you’d like to see one held in your area fill out the comment box on the LOSD Seminar review page, where you can also see reviews of recently completed seminars in New Hampshire, Maine, Texas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and elsewhere. Andrew is also a contributing author on self defense law topics to Combat Handguns, Ammoland.com, Legal Insurrection, and others. You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

Angela Corey Seeks Revocation of Marissa Alexander’s Bail

Well, Marissa Alexander simply can’t bring her self to abide by the orders of a court, according to a story from First Coast News (FCN), Florida.

The last time she was out on bail, and under a restraining order to stay away from her estranged husband, she met with him to (successfully) induce him to execute a false affidavit favorable to her defense (an affidavit he quickly retracted).

One of the conditions of her current bail is that she is under home detention, and may not leave except for very limited circumstances. Daily errands are not on that list of limited circumstances, yet seem to have appeared sufficient justification to Marissa.

State Attorney Angela Corey alleges that Marissa has left her home on numerous times merely to run errands, a violation of her conditions of bail.

For the full story, see my post over at Legal Insurrection:

Angela Corey Seeks Revocation of Marissa Alexander’s Bail

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, Law of Self Defense Facebook
[If you like what I write, please “follow” me on Twitter–@LawSelfDefense–and “like” me on Facebook. My IT person says it matters. 🙂 ]


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country. Seminars for 2014 are currently being scheduled, if you’d like to see one held in your area fill out the comment box on the LOSD Seminar review page, where you can also see reviews of recently completed seminars in New Hampshire, Maine, Texas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and elsewhere.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

Marissa Alexander Released on Bail

Marissa Alexander has been released on bail, according to widespread news reports. The conditions of her release are stringent, although not overly so for someone who has never been a very appropriate candidate for pre-(re-)-trial release. Alexander had been previously convicted of aggravated assault with firearm enhancement under Florida’s 10-20-Life law, resulting in her 20-year mandatory sentence, after rejecting a 3-year plea deal.

The fact that the court was willing to grant bail (and the language of the order granting bail makes clear that doing so in a re-trial case following a prior conviction is not the norm), and that the prosecution did not argue with sufficient vigor to defeat the motion for bail, reinforces my belief that Alexander is not going to be treated with a lighter hand than the law allows.

In addition, the fact that bail was granted reinforces my expectation that Alexander will again be offered a plea deal, this time for (mostly) time served–and if she’s got the smarts of even a turnip she should grab the offer with both hands.

For more details including the actual court order granting bail, see my coverage over at Legal Insurrection:

Marissa Alexander Released on Bail

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, Law of Self Defense Facebook
[If you like what I write, please “follow” me on Twitter, and “like” me on Facebook. My IT person says it matters. 🙂 ]


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country. Seminars for 2014 are currently being scheduled, if you’d like to see one held in your area fill out the comment box on the LOSD Seminar review page, where you can also see reviews of recently completed seminars in New Hampshire, Maine, Texas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and elsewhere.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.