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Judge orders new trial for Marissa Alexander in Florida self-defence case

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Marissa AlexanderA Florida woman whose controversial conviction and 20-year sentence for firing a warning shot at an abusive ex-husband were recently overturned must remain in jail for at least another week, a judge ruled on Thursday.

Marissa Alexander’s supporters had hoped the mother of three would be set free during her first court appearance since an appeals panel set aside the guilty verdict and prison term last month over the August 2010 shooting.

Instead, circuit court judge James Daniel set a bail hearing in Jacksonville for 8 November, and ordered that Alexander, 33, face a new trial to begin on 31 March next year. Hers is one of a number of recent high-profile self-defence cases involving Florida’s stand-your-ground laws and is being pursued by Angela Corey, the state attorney who put George Zimmerman on trial for murder this summer over the February 2012 killing of the unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford.

Several dozen of Alexander’s supporters were at the courthouse on Thursday to protest against the decision to keep her in prison and to put the case before a new jury instead of letting her walk free.

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