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Jury Selection, Retrial Dates Set For Marissa Alexander

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News4Jax
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Activists requesting a plea deal for Marissa Alexander say there have been discussions seeking one, but her attorneys are only saying they are getting ready for her upcoming retrial. Alexander was in court Wednesday to set a timetable for future legal filings and hearings. Judge James Daniel set July 21 as the start of jury selection with the trial scheduled to begin July 28.

Jury selection usually occurs at the start of the trial—Alexander’s attorney Bruce Zimet said the additional time will be used so potential jurors can answer a written questionnaire before appearing in court.

"Obviously in jury selection we want as much information and details as possible," he said.

"One of the methods of saving time is to get it done as a group in writing as opposed to having to use courtroom time, and that's really what we're looking for."

Daniel also scheduled a hearing for May 16 to determine if he would allow a new “Stand Your Ground” hearing. The judge also said he’s leaning against sequestering the jury, which both the defense and the prosecution agreed with.

In 2012, Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a gun at her estranged husband with his children close by. She claimed she fired a warning shot, but her original “Stand Your Ground” petition was rejected.

Her conviction was overturned due to a problem with jury instructions. Her case has helped stoke the national debate regarding Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law and domestic violence.

You can follow Kevin Meerschaert on Twitter @KMeerschaertJax.

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.