A great open letter from Charles F. Coleman, Jr. to a group of local Jacksonville pastors who are requesting that Angela Corey give Marissa Alexander a plea deal and who are pressuring Marissa in the press to accept this hypothetical plea deal as if it were a fair outcome. An excerpt from Adkins’ response:
It borders on the offensive to me that you would suggest Marissa Alexander’s saga is a “distraction” to the Florida community. Really? Alexander is the distraction? Not Michael Dunn, not George Zimmerman, not Stand Your Ground? Not the issue of sensible gun laws, or adequate resources or protection for our young people in urban communities…not the state of Florida ITSELF with its myriad and well-document issues of criminal and social justice? It’s Marissa Alexander? Her trial is the problem?
Respectfully, sir, I must disagree.
Listen, I’m sure you’ve watched countless episodes of Law and Order, which means, of course, that you are basically kinda like almost an attorney. But you making suggestions to Marissa Alexander about what she should do in regards to a plea bargain is as irresponsible and ill-advised as me telling someone when they should give their life to Christ simply because I grew up in the church (shout out too Black folk, everywhere). FYI, even real lawyers don’t tell their (paying) clients what to do when considering plea bargains, so please keep the unsolicited opinions to yourself and let Alexander continue her fight for her truth the way that she sees fit. If your goal is to lobby the State Attorney’s Office for a lenient plea bargain, then do so without comment to Marissa Alexander about what you believe is “a very fair deal.” I have never experienced life in jail and could not fathom “settling” for three minutes behind bars—much less three years—for a crime that I had not committed. Marissa Alexander should not either. She has every right to reject any plea deal in the same way if she cannot allocate to any guilt with a clear conscience.
Marissa Alexander’s case is not a “distraction,” it is an illustration of how systems of criminalization are structured to punish black women, black communities, and survivors of domestic violence in general.
We support Marissa to make hard choices amidst unjust circumstances as her case unfolds. But if anyone is calling for Angela Corey to do anything, it should be DROP THE CASE! Full exoneration for Marissa Alexander!