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Mandatory Minimums Warning Shot

AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bob Mack, Pool

When pundits and black leaders bemoaned the irony of a St. Louis County grand juryannouncing its decision not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for killing 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr. on the same day that slain civil-rights activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, few noted another cruel irony.

Just as Wilson walked free of charges despite having shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, Marissa Alexander, the battered black woman initially sentenced to 20 years in prison in Florida for firing an alleged warning shot into the ceiling of her home as her abusive ex-husband allegedly threatened her despite a restraining order against him, headed back to jail to serve an additional 65 days on top of the three years she has already served. Alexander accepted a plea deal in the face of new charges filed against her, charges that would have amounted to 60 years in prison had she been convicted.

Also absent from the pleas for justice are the names of too many other African Americans cut down like Brown, people such as Rekia Boyd, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Yvette Smith and, most recently, Tanisha Anderson.

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