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U.S. News and Commentary



Wednesday
May162012

Florida prosecutor to correct 'warning shot' case claims on Thursday talk show

U.S. congresswoman Corrine Brown confronted state attorney Angela Corey at the Jacksonville (Fla.) courthouse. (Screen snip, News4Jax video)State Attorney Angela Corey (4th Judicial District, Fla.) will address issues related to a case involving a woman convicted on three counts of assault with a deadly weapon.  Corey will appear on a talk radio show on Thursday to share specifics from the trial.

The jury deliberated for 12 minutes, obviously influenced by evidence and testimony presented in court.

On May 11, the defendant, Marissa Alexander, was given a 20 year prison sentence. What no one anticipated was an appearance by Democrat congresswoman Corrine Brown. Brown showed up at the courthouse in Jacksonville, Florida, peppering Corey with accusations as a group of bystanders did the same.

Brown told Corey, “Reporters came to me about this case…”

Media have not asked Brown the names of those reporters or the media outlets they allegedly work for.

Corey had no control over the sentence—that is mandated by the state of Florida.

Media immediately picked up on the case, and if tickets could be issued for journalistic malpractice, the first one would go to CBS News for a story run on May 12. CBS titled the story, ‘Florida mom gets 20 years for firing warning shots.’

The defendant claimed her case qualified for a Stand Your Ground defense—she was protecting herself against an abusive husband. That is the angle CBS used to construct the narrative. CBS quoted Alexander's opinion denying that she "did anything wrong." Both the network and the defendant appear to lack comprehension of the danger in firing a weapon in the presence of young children.

CBS omitted necessary information from the story:

  • Two children were on the premises when the defendant fired the gun. Alexander had left the house, but returned with the gun.
  • The defendant had been let out on bond after charges were filed. The judge directed her to not contact the victims. The defendant ignored the judge’s order, returning to the home and ultimately engaging with her husband in an altercation that resulted in an injury to his eye. The defendant first denied being there, but admitted it later.
  • Corey reminded Brown the defendant could not be offered probation after violating a judge’s order to stay away from the victims.

In the courthouse confrontation, Brown accused Corey of “institutional racism,” saying that Alexander had been “overcharged.”

The video suggests Brown did not have all the facts, and Corey’s patience is commendable as she attempts to explain details to Brown and agitated bystanders. The video is posted online at News4Jax.com, a local TV station.

How often does a U.S. congresswoman show up at a courthouse after a trial? Is Brown taking a page from recent training involving racial issues? The Washington Examiner disclosed House Democrats received such training the week of Alexander’s trial.

Rather remarkably, in her confrontation of Corey, Brown never brought up the welfare of two children who were not injured by pure chance—the bullet deflected.

“What could have happened…it did not happen,” Brown told Corey.

Corey repeated concerns about the children’s safety more than once in her exchange with Brown. No media outlet, including CBS, mentioned the threat of bodily injury or death to the two children. No community activists have mentioned the wellbeing of children exposed to violence and potential injury.

“I have an obligation to those two children,” Corey said.

Corey also told Brown, after asking noisy bystanders to show respect, that prosecutors offered Alexander a 3-year plea bargain—17 years off the 20-year sentence.

The Florida Times-Union said Alexander’s attorney “would not speak as to exactly why the deal was rejected…”

Brown appeared to be concerned about the validity of Florida laws and sentencing guidelines, but she was in fact misguided in attempting to change the law by confronting the prosecutor.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has appointed a special Task Force to review Stand Your Ground. Scott took those steps after the controversial case of Trayvon Martin, a teen killed by a neighborhood watch activist in a gated community in Sanford. Scott appointed Corey to handle that case in which both victim and defendant are minorities.

The victims and the defendant in the Alexander case are all minorities as well.

A 17-page summary of the case details and proceedings are posted online at the Duval County Clerk of the Circuit Court website.

Corey will appear on the show What’s the Buzz on Thursday on WBOB AM 600 (Jacksonville) at 5 p.m. ET. Anchored by Cindy Graves, the show is also streamed live online at the WBOB website.

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/May 16, 2012)

Related

Judge denies Jacksonville woman new trial... (The Florida Times-Union)

Trayvon Martin sparks debate on Stand Your Ground (The US Report)

    

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