Marissa Alexander released on bail, granted new trial

first_imgMarissa Alexander, the 34-year-old African-American woman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for defending herself against her abusive former spouse, was released on $200,000 bail on Nov. 27.  She will remain under house arrest and electronic monitoring in her Jacksonville, Fla., home until her retrial, which is tentatively set for this coming March 31.Alexander’s case received national and international attention following her 2011 trial and conviction for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.  Alexander refused to take a plea bargain from the Florida State Attorney’s office, hoping that she would be exonerated on all charges based on the controversial “stand your ground” state law. On paper, this law says that anyone who feels threatened with violence has the right to defend herself or himself without reprisal. In reality, this law has been used as a legal weapon against people of color, and especially women like Alexander who have been systematically tormented by domestic violence and abuse.On Aug. 3, 2010, Alexander fired a single shot into a wall in self-defense to warn off her estranged spouse, Rico Gray, during a dispute at which two of their children were present. Gray violated a court injunction granted to Alexander after a brutal attack she had received from him during her third pregnancy. A week before the gun incident, she had given birth to a premature baby. Alexander used a gun that was legally registered in her name. No one was injured.During her trial in August 2011, Alexander’s legal team introduced the stand your ground law as her defense. However, the trial judge denied Alexander immunity from prosecution under this law, saying that her decision to go back into the house armed with the gun was in contradiction to how someone who felt fearful for her life should supposedly behave.The prosecution was led by Florida state attorney Angela Corey, who was also part of the prosecution team in the trial of Trayvon Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, who was acquitted this past summer. Corey publicly stated that she was against Alexander being granted bail or a new trial.On Sept. 26, a Florida court of appeals reversed Alexander’s conviction, stating in its ruling that the jury received instructions that erroneously shifted the burden of proof for self-defense onto Alexander.That Alexander is out on bail and has been granted a new trial are important concessions wrested from the racist judicial system because of the mass campaigns of demonstrations, petitions and other forms of grassroots pressure on Alexander’s behalf.Alexander has become an important public face for millions of women of color who are victimized by institutionalized racism and sexism. She should not have spent one day in jail, much less the more than three years she has painfully spent in prison, away from her children. Being restricted to house arrest for Alexander means being in minimum security instead of maximum.Activists are urged to step up their efforts to support Alexander both during the March 31 retrial in the courtroom and in the streets, until Alexander is finally released from this nightmare. An injury to one is an injury to all!   For updates, go to and thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Will equal pay plans deliver?

first_imgThe Government unveiled its weapons to cut the gender pay gap last week, butthere are doubts over whether they will reduce the 18 per cent divide. The proposals include the right for women to know what male colleagues atthe same level are earning and the requirement for firms to include informationon employment and pay diversity in annual reports. The measures will be voluntary, but the Kingsmill review into equal paywarns employers that if they ignore the measures then legislation could follow.Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt unveiled the measures inresponse to findings from Denise Kingsmill, who the Government appointed toexamine women’s pay and employment. Hewitt also outlined plans to encourageorganisations to conduct equal pay audits. Nick Page, rewards adviser for the CIPD, urged employers to adopt atransparent approach to equal pay, or he said the Government could bring incompulsory legislation on pay audits. “We support the voluntary approach to equal pay audits because we feelit will be the most successful at this stage. But if there is no significantcommitment by employers to achieving equal pay in the next two to three years,the Government could revisit the issue and consider a legislativeapproach.” HR professionals doubt whether the measures will meet the Government’starget of eliminating the gender pay gap by the end of decade. Francesca Okosi, HR director at Brent Council, said, “They will go someway to helping reduce the gap, but will not significantly reduce it.” Frances Wright, HR director at psychometric test provider SHL, agrees.”Diversity reporting in annual reports would help as it puts everythingupfront so what is happening can be seen,” she said. “It is not theanswer to reducing equal pay, but it will certainly help bring large organisationsin line as they will not want to risk their reputations.” By Paul Nelson What HR must doEqualpay questionnaires:HR teams will prepare questionnaires including sections on pay,position, experience, time spent at company and qualifications, that staff canuse to benchmark their salaries if they believe they are being unfairly paid.Diversity reporting:Organisations will be expected to give percentages of womenemployed, recruited, retained, and promoted in the annual report.The reportwill also include diversity trend analysis.Equal pay audits:The aim is to determine the existence and extent of equal payproblems. It uses the pay system to identify men and women in similar roles andanalyse their pay for discrepancies. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Will equal pay plans deliver?On 11 Dec 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Activists target Manchester estate agency over disputed tenancy

first_imgHome » News » Agencies & People » Activists target Manchester estate agency over disputed tenancy previous nextAgencies & PeopleActivists target Manchester estate agency over disputed tenancyCompany says it is preparing a full legal response to claims by activists that it has served a Section 21 notice on three tenants incorrectly.Nigel Lewis27th October 202001,654 Views An estate agency at the centre of a disputed tenancy in Manchester says it is preparing a legal response to claims by housing campaigners that it has incorrectly served a Section 21 notice on three tenants.Thornley Groves has been targeted in recent days by campaigners from Acorn and demonstrations have been held outside four of its branches.Acorn claims that three tenants at a property in the city were served a ‘no fault’ notice at the request of the landlord after it was discovered that the trio had been furloughed by their employers, although they have since returned to full-status employment.“It seems abundantly clear that not only are Thornley Groves…oblivious to the effects of their actions on the homelessness crisis, but that they are wilfully contributing to it” says one of the tenants, Toby Bower.Campaigners have taken up the cause of the tenants, who are also members of the organisation, and have launched a social media campaign targeting the agency and its CEO Jason Watkin.RowThe row between the agency and its three tenants highlights the problems facing many landlords and lettings agents as the economic fall-out from the Covid pandemic continues.This includes whether tenants who are furloughed are deemed a ‘high risk’ and whether applicants should disclose furlough status when being referenced.Thornley Groves says it will be preparing a full legal response to the criticisms levelled at it by Acorn in the coming days.The estate agency, which is due to celebrate its 30th anniversary, has seven branches in the centre and suburbs of Manchester and employs 80 staff.Read more about Thornley Groves.Manchester Acorn thornley groves October 27, 2020Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more