Governor Scott: Pardon Marissa Alexander

Standard

When a judge recently denied Marissa Alexander’s request for a Stand Your Ground hearing, for the second time, the die was cast for her retrial. Odds are decent that she may be sent back to jail, even under terms of a plea deal. While the sentence may not be as severe, those who believe she had no business being locked up to begin with, and whose efforts forced the state’s hand once already, are unlikely to take any satisfaction in that. And so the cycle of acrimony will rotate further.

As it stands, the only person capable of breaking this cycle also happens to be the person who would benefit most from doing so. Ms. Alexander’s mistakes have presented Governor Scott with an opportunity to demonstrate real leadership, and also to show off a compassionate side that not enough people get to see in politics. With one stroke of his pen—well, several strokes—Governor Scott can end this controversy for good by pardoning Marissa Alexander.

Scott’s critics would likely denounce it as an election-year stunt, and he should let them do so, because a pardon could well prove decisive in the governor’s race. It is surprising that Charlie Crist has not made this into more of an issue, and Scott should take the initiative to take that option away from him entirely. With Alexander on his side, Scott could potentially take an unprecedented share of the African-American vote from his Democratic challenger. At the same time, it offers some hope of maybe mitigating what are likely to be substantial losses among female voters. If Scott loses in November, it will be largely due to Crist’s support among women, and there is nothing he can do about that—but if he pardoned the state’s most well-known victim of domestic violence, that would be a good start.

Some would argue that such action interferes with the rule of law, but others would argue that it actually reinforces the rule of law. Bear in mind, Ms. Alexander already spent time behind bars on a conviction that was overturned; the governor is entirely within his rights to say the lady has been through enough, and there is nothing to be gained from spending more money prosecuting her. There can be no serious question of the governor’s commitment to law-and-order, and even those who would object to a pardon on those grounds are NOT going to vote for Charlie Crist.

There is a practical side to all this, as well: pardoning Ms. Alexander would eliminate a major distraction, and it would clear out a cloud that would otherwise hang over his second term. If she is imprisoned again, her supporters may believe that the whole game was rigged against her from the start—and that is a case that already carries weight in national media. Ending this case would remove a big source of negative publicity for all of Florida, while generating large amounts of positive hype for himself, and even die-hard opponents would be happy that it’s over.

Rick Scott is arguably the most controversial governor in America, but in this election year he has shown himself repeatedly to be capable of acting counterintuitively in the public interest, and willing to wager political capital to do the right thing. To pardon Marissa Alexander would be the most dramatic example of that yet. Not only would it be the kind of bold, decisive action that voters respond favorably to, it has the added benefit of humanity. He and he alone can decide whether Ms. Alexander will get to watch her children grow up; morally, and politically, does he really have any choice?

Advertisements

2 responses »

  1. What Florida needs is a good Governor for a change, like Adrian Wyllie.

    Vote Adrian Wyllie for Governor! Also, Bill Wohlsifer for Attorney General and yes on 2.

    Why vote between 2 known liars? Florida, we are fortunate enough not to

    be stuck picking one liar or the other this time. We actually have an

    alternative. Take advantage of the opportunity. Adrian Wyllie deserves

    my vote. He is a honest average Floridian just as you and I , that is

    willing to stand up and do something for the interest of all of us here

    in Florida. The other candidates both Republican and Democrat are owned

    and controlled by special interest, like puppets and will lie to your

    face to gain your vote, then continue the same old agenda that we

    complain about year after year. Time to get off this merry-go-round,

    election after election, thinking it will be any different. Take a

    stand, vote for the candidate that loves this state and is willing to

    take time out of his life, effort and money to SERVE the people of

    Florida and stop voting for these ‘paid for’ career politicians that are

    only out for money and fame and have zero interest in us Floridians.

    Even if it’s just for honesty alone, vote for Adrian Wyllie instead of

    the other two (Scott/Crist) which are proven liars. The choice is yours

    and yours alone, if you want the same old corruption and slap in the

    face, go ahead and vote for one of the two puppets (Scott/Crist) OR do

    what is right for our (yours and your children’s) future and vote for

    Adrian Wyllie. Support him by donating to his campaign, spreading the

    word and contribute to the super brochure program which I think is very

    powerful. Visit his website today

  2. Pingback: The Semiotics of Dress: Angela Corey for Governor? Maybe… | Money Jungle Safari

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s