Marissa Alexander has been reprieved from having to serve a 20-year stretch in a Florida penitentiary for having fired a warning shot during an argument with her abusive husband. Under Florida law, any use of a handgun in the commission of an offence nets a mandatory 20-year sentence.
A Florida appeals court said the trial judge erred in instructing the jury that Ms. Alexander had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the shot was fired in self-defence. The standard, under Florida's 'stand your ground' law requires merely that the defendant raise some reasonable doubt. When you think about it, that's a pretty low standard on which to escape liability for killing someone.