I have read this story over and over again and I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that a Jury of her peers found her to be guilty and a Judge sentenced her to 20 years in Prison.
Now, this is not a matter of race nor gender on my behalf, but I'm so confused. Being a former Paralegal and an Advocate for Prison Reform, as well as forming working with Inmates, I'm finding this disturbing.
This lady did not commit murder, nor did she commit an assault, however, the Judge found it in his heart to sentence her to 20 years in Prison for the crime of assault. And not just assault, but aggravated assault. The only crime that I have is that she was in possession of a deadly weapon in which she only fired a warning shot to ward off her abusive husband. She did not shot him, nor did she shot at him. There is a difference.
The crime was committed by her husband...abuse is abuse. Whether is physical, mental, verbal, financial, emotional, or neglect...abuse is abuse.
Now, I'm not really clear on the laws in Florida State but, there should have been some form of lienecy regarding this case. If there was evidence regarding the abuse she suffered from her husband, that evidence should have been brought up at the trial.
I also don't see why she was offered a plea bargain when she was the abusee and did not commit a crime. Again, the only crime was carrying a firearm. I don't know the firearm laws in Florida State but this is excessive.
Regardless, if she when back into her home, where it was unsafe to go to get the keys to vehicle does not constitute a 20 year prison sentence.
Is there more to this story? Were there things left out? Did the Defense Attorney not perform his job? In order for the jury to come back after 12 minutes of deliberation to a guilty verdict tells me that the Defense Attorney did not do a good job at representing his client.
My mind is still reeling from the outcome of this case. Now, an 11 year old little girl is without her mother because of this outcome. What happened to her husband? Is he out and about living life to the fullest? Again, I say, this is a shame.
Until Next Time,
Jeane' Elliott Bennett