Marissa Alexander's 20-Year Sentence Provokes Fresh Outrage Against George Zimmerman Prosecutor

Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., suggests voters dump 'cruel' prosecutor who's been under fire for years.

Rep. Corrine Brown, left, says State Attorney Angela Corey, right, is notorious among her constituents for overcharging.
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Zimet told U.S. News that "it's not a good time to discuss the issue" in depth.

Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., has received a steady stream of emails urging him to pardon Alexander, according to documents provided to U.S. News by the governor's office. Several of those emails were written by women who said they survived abusive relationships.

A 60-year-old woman wrote to Scott that her husband tried to kill her. "[W]omen shouldn't be punished for trying to protect themselves," she wrote. "I think her choices were fairly logical."

Another Florida woman said she was a victim of domestic violence and that her partner claimed he "could have killed me and served less time." She added, "Had we gotten into a knock down drag out and I killed him, I would have gone to jail."

But the governor hasn't yet received a formal pardon request, spokesman John Tupps told U.S. News.

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"We have not received any official request for a pardon," according to Tupps. "There is a clemency process that is handled by the Office of Executive Clemency where those convicted of a crime are afforded the opportunity to request a pardon from a majority of the Florida Board of Executive Clemency," which currently consists of four state officials: Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam.

Corey has faced withering criticism during and since the failed prosecution of George Zimmerman for murder in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Unlike Alexander, Zimmerman refused a "Stand Your Ground" hearing before his trial and his lawyers didn't directly invoke the law, but instructions provided to the jury did provide guidance on it.

Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz publicly feuded with Corey during the Zimmerman trial. In April he accused her of unlawfully concealing evidence from defense attorneys and she allegedly retaliated by calling the dean of the Harvard Law School to recommend discipline for the respected scholar.

On Sunday, Dershowitz said during a Fox News interview that Corey should be disbarred.

"She was among the most irresponsible prosecutors I've seen in 50 years of litigating cases, and believe me, I've seen good prosecutors, bad prosecutors, but rarely have I seen one as bad as this prosecutor," Dershowitz said. "She submitted an affidavit that was, if not perjurious, completely misleading."

A spokesperson for Corey's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment by U.S. News on Dershowitz's charge and Brown's criticism.

Former Justice Department prosecutor Larry Klayman recently convened a symbolic "citizens' grand jury," which "indicted" Corey on charges of withholding evidence. "Corey will now be tried and likely convicted for her alleged crimes," says an announcement on the website of Klayman's pro-government accountability organization, Freedom Watch.

A more credible threat to Corey comes from a self-described whistle-blower, Ben Kruidbos, who says he was fired by Corey for exposing at a June pre-trial hearing that her office withheld evidence from Zimmerman's attorneys. Reuters reported Tuesday that he is filing a lawsuit over the termination. Corey's office pointed the news agency to Kruidbos's termination letter, which cites "deliberate, willful and unscrupulous actions" as the cause of his firing.

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The National Review reported Wednesday that Corey had a notoriously bad relationship with her predecessor, who fired her before she won his job in a 2008 election. She reportedly fired 20 percent of the office's staff after assuming power and lobbied to prevent her former boss from landing a job.

Aside from Alexander's highly controversial conviction, Corey was also criticized for prosecuting 12-year-old Cristian Fernandez as an adult for murder in 2011. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

Brown, the congresswoman, said Alexander "should get a pardon, clemency, whatever; she should be out." As for Corey, she recommends that voters give her the boot when she's up for re-election in 2016.