A Florida father of two was given a mandatory 20-year prison sentence for firing a warning shot at some jackhole who threatened his family.
You mean to tell me that Marissa Alexander‘s sentence wasn’t a case of racist Republicans but, poorly written Florida law?!?! Schneikeys! Now, don’t get me wrong. I still maintain that the facts of Alexander’s case to me suggest that she is in fact, guilty of the reckless discharge of a firearm and reckless endangerment of juveniles not directly involved in her conflict with her estranged husband at the time. In fact, I do believe that aggravated assault was a reasonable charge and she was duly convicted.
A full four years before anyone had ever heard of Marissa Alexander, George Zimmerman, or Trayvon Martin, 59-year-old Lee Wollard was convicted of aggravated assault, shooting a firearm inside a building, and child endangerment. If that all sounds familiar, it is because a similar list of charges were applied to the Marissa Alexander case with the addition of the fact she colluded with her husband to lie to the court about the facts of the case after her arrest. But much like Alexander, Wollard was convicted received a minimum sentence of 20 years because a firearm was used in the commission of the original offense.
Having said all this, I’m not a fan of minimum sentencing. It can be argued the standard has been applied unfairly in the past. I wouldn’t argue that here but, it may be that the punishment does not necessarily fit the crime. As a basic policy though, if you can’t articulate an imminent threat of bodily harm, the discharge of a firearm to scare, intimidate, or otherwise discourage someone from doing you harm is not a good idea.