Tag Archive: Michelle Alexander

Marissa Alexander agrees to plea deal

alexanderFrom Corporate Media

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Facing a possible 60 years in prison for firing a gun at her estranged husband and his two sons, Marissa Alexander agreed Monday to a plea deal that effectively ends the four-year old criminal case against her.

According to the terms of the plea, Alexander was ordered to serve three years in prison after pleading guilty to all three counts against her. The Florida Times-Union reports the Alexander will get credit for the 1,030 days she’s already spent in jail.

That means she’ll have to spend 65 days in jail. Alexander will return to Duval County Jail following Monday’s hearing. She’ll be released on Jan. 27.

Because the second count against Alexander is considered an ‘open plea,’ she could still be sentenced to five years in prison at the hearing on Jan. 27. (more…)

What’s Missing from the Movement to End Mass Incarceration?

prisonsareforburning!From LA Progressive

“If the way we pursue reforms does not contribute to the building of a movement to dismantle the system of mass incarceration, and if our advocacy does not upset the prevailing public consensus that supports the new caste system, none of the reforms, even if won, will successfully disrupt the nation’s racial equilibrium,”

This week California – the state that passed the Three Strikes Law in 1994 – voted 59 to 41 percent in favor of Proposition 47. Proposition 47 will reclassify six non-violent felonies as misdemeanors and redirect the savings in prison spending toward substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling and education.

Is this a movement moment for the long-running campaign to end mass incarceration? There does seem to be a lot of positive activity on the issue. And not just in California.

“Fair Chance Hiring Policies”—also known as “Ban the Box” policies—now cover 70 cities and counties, and 12 states, according to the National Employment Law Project. These policies delay consideration of a person’s conviction history until later in the hiring process, making it easier for those who have felonies on their record to find employment. Big retailers, such as Target, have also banned the box. (more…)

Go to Trial: Crash the Justice System


AFTER years as a civil rights lawyer, I rarely find myself speechless. But some questions a woman I know posed during a phone conversation one recent evening gave me pause: “What would happen if we organized thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of people charged with crimes to refuse to play the game, to refuse to plea out? What if they all insisted on their Sixth Amendment right to trial? Couldn’t we bring the whole system to a halt just like that?”

The woman was Susan Burton, who knows a lot about being processed through the criminal justice system.

Her odyssey began when a Los Angeles police cruiser ran over and killed her 5-year-old son. Consumed with grief and without access to therapy or antidepressant medications, Susan became addicted to crack cocaine. She lived in an impoverished black community under siege in the “war on drugs,” and it was but a matter of time before she was arrested and offered the first of many plea deals that left her behind bars for a series of drug-related offenses. Every time she was released, she found herself trapped in an under-caste, subject to legal discrimination in employment and housing. (more…)