JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The verdict in the Zimmerman trial has placed a national spotlight on the State Attorney's Office in the 4th Judicial Circuit as well as on other cases that office has prosecuted.
One of those cases involves Marissa Alexander.
She fired a gun in her home during an alleged domestic dispute and tried to use the stand your ground defense.
Alexander was a wife and mother, and in 2010 she had taken out a protective order against her husband when he was arrested for physically abusing her.
Later that year, a fight started in their master bathroom, Alexander told police she feared for her life.
According to court documents she ran to the garage to get her registered handgun.
Kevin Cobbin, Alexander's attorney, said, "The garage wouldn't open and so she went back into the house to try to go to another exit. He met her in the laundry room-kitchen area."
Alexander fired a single shot. Cobbin said it was one shot into the air.
However, State Attorney Angela Corey said it wasn't just into the air. She said Alexander fired it the gun through a wall where two young boys were standing on the other side.
Those children were her step-sons.
Cobbin tried to apply the Stand Your Ground law, but the court denied it.
In contrast, Zimmerman's attorneys did not push a Stand Your Ground defense, instead claiming Zimmerman was defending himself.
"They're two very different cases," Cobbin noted. Similarly, Corey said Monday the case bears no similarity to Zimmerman's case.
However, Cobbin believes the differences are noteworthy. He points to the length of jury deliberations.
The jury deliberated for 16 hours in the Zimmerman trial, compared to the 12 minutes in Alexander's case.
"The jury did not take the case as seriously for some reason that they didn't place as much value on Ms. Alexander's liberties and her life as they should've," said Cobbin.
Cobbin believes that Zimmerman did get a fair trial, but he says comparing the cases shows how the justice system treats African Americans differently.
He listed examples, including Alexander's case.
"Marissa who had never been in trouble before getting 20 years in prison," Cobbin said. "Then you have people out there killing people for no apparent reason and they're getting to walk free."
However, Corey said Monday the comparison shows something different.
"What it does say is that this 4th Judicial Circuit, and Angela Corey specifically, prosecutes based on facts and law, without regard to race, creed, color or gender," Corey said.
First Coast News