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Prosecutors Expect Second Marissa Alexander Trial To Be Like First

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Florida Times Union
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The attorneys who tried the Marissa Alexander case say they don’t plan to change their strategy when they take the case to trial again.

The 1st District Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial for the Jacksonville woman whose case became a national rallying cry against “Stand Your Ground” enforcement and mandatory minimum sentences.

The appeals court threw out Alexander’s conviction Thursday, saying that the instructions the judge gave the jury were flawed.

Alexander, 33, was sentenced to 20 years in prison last year for firing a shot inside her house during an argument with her husband. She said she felt threatened, and tried to use the Stand Your Ground defense, but that was rejected at trial. The appeals court backed up that decision, so there will be no Stand Your Ground hearing in the new case.

Assistant State Attorney David Thompson says he expects that will be  the only difference the second time around.

"We’re going to put the same facts to the law and give the proper jury instruction this time on the self defense argument," he said.

Thompson said he doesn't think the jury bought the self defense argument since they only took 12 minutes to deliberate.

Prosecutors would not say whether they would offer Alexander a plea deal. Before her case went to trial the first time, she had an offer of 3 years behind bars if she pleaded guilty. Once the case went to trial and she was convicted, the judge had no choice but to sentence her to 20 years due to mandatory minimum sentencing laws.

You can follow Karen on Twitter @karenfeagins.

Karen found her home in public broadcasting after working for several years as a commercial television reporter. She joinedWJCTin 2005 as the host of 89.9 FM’s Morning Edition and has held many different roles at the station in both radio and television. She has written and produced documentaries includingBeluthahatchee: The Legacy of Stetson Kennedy and Jacksonville Beach: Against the Tide and directed the oral history project, Voices of the First Coast.