Welcome to the Obama administration's cringe-inducing non sequitur of the week. On Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder continued stoking the fires of racial resentment over a Florida jury's acquittal of George Zimmerman. In an address to NAACP leaders, who are demanding federal intervention, Holder attacked Stand Your Ground self-defense laws.
On the Monday night edition of All In, Chris Hayes featured a segment decrying what he considered a racially-motivated overzealous prosecution of Marissa Alexander, an African-American Florida woman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a warning shot in the vicinity of her estranged husband, with whom she was having a dispute. [Link to the audio here]
Hayes hosted a panel which included Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) to discuss the story, and its implications when compared against the outcome of the Zimmerman case. Rep. Brown passionately exclaimed that this case showed “institutional racism” in the justice system. Hayes and the panel agreed with Brown about her opinion that Alexander had been overcharged for her crime and called into question the legitimacy of “mandatory minimum” laws, which require a preset minimum sentence if convicted of certain crimes. But according to an Associated Press report, the story is a lot more complex than that.