For more about Brittany Smith’s case, please see these commentaries:
- Brittany Smith’s Nightmare is Alabama’s Epic Fail on Stand Your Ground Ruling
- Brittany Smith Case Update: Woman Who Killed Her Rapist Still Fighting for her Freedom
On September 15, 2020, Judge Jenifer Holt issued a rare ruling in favour of Brittany Smith, the young Alabama woman who says she was raped repeatedly before she killed her attacker, when Holt denied the prosecutor’s motions to revoke Smith’s bail.
“The trial of this case will begin in seven weeks on November 2, 2020. The Defendant needs to be readily available to assist her attorneys in preparing for trial. She can provide more assistance to her attorneys if she is not confined in jail.”
Three days later, Brittany Smith was arrested and charged with second-degree arson. The circumstances of the arson were not released publicly, as far as I can tell.
At the bond revocation bail hearing following this new arson charge, Judge Jenifer Holt revoked Smith’s bond, ordering Brittany Smith remain in Jackson County Jail until her trial.
Brittany Smith will remain in custody until she stands trial for murder on November 2, 2020, despite Alabama’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
It’s the latest loss for the young woman, following a string of court losses that threaten to send Brittany Smith to prison for the rest of her life.
Alabama is a “Stand Your Ground” state – meaning when your life is threatened in your own home you have the right to defend yourself or your loved ones with lethal force, if necessary.
Brittany Smith’s case should be a slam dunk to qualify for protection under Alabama’s Stand Your Ground self-defense law and have all charges against her dismissed.
“Should” is the operative word here, but the entire Alabama judicial system seems determined to put this woman in prison for the rest of her life.
Victor Revill, an Alabama criminal-defense attorney who handles many Stand Your Ground claims, reviewed Brittany Smith’s case. In his expert opinion, Brittany Smith’s case is “Stand Your Ground all day.”
“That situation is one of the reasons why this law is in place,” said Victor Revill. “If her brother was saving her from her kidnapper or her rapist and the kidnapper is trying to fight her brother, in her situation you have the right to defend yourself and you have the right to defend the other person as well.”
Unfortunately, District Attorney Jason Pierce disagreed. Pierce charged Brittany Smith with murder despite evidence, including a rape kit that identified over 30 wounds on her body, supporting her case.
Alabama Circuit Court Judge Jenifer Holt ruled against Brittany Smith’s request for immunity from prosecution under Alabama’s stand your ground statute, and the Alabama Court of Appeals upheld Holt’s ruling.
Every Woman’s Worst Nightmare
Brittany Smith is now living every woman’s worst nightmare.
She was raped twice and knocked unconscious by her attacker. She shot and killed her attacker, but only after he attempted to kill her brother when he came to protect her.
The law that should to protect women like Brittany Smith is now being twisted in a bizarre bid to send her to prison for life.
It makes no sense.
I know why Brittany Smith can’t sleep at night.
What I don’t know and will never understand is how Jackson County District Attorney Jason Pierce and Circuit Judge Jenifer Holt can sleep at night or look themselves in the eye in the mirror in the morning.
This angers me to no end. Hate to say it, but if she were a black woman, all charges would be dropped.
Michael Ackermann says
There may be more to this than meets the eye:
She pled guilty.
Perhaps the brother came over, subdued the attacker and then they executed him?
Christopher di Armani says
I don’t think so, Mike. I think she was terrified she would spend the rest of her life in prison and pleaded guilty to avoid that.
Her guilty plea means she’ll serve another 7 months or so in jail, then house arrest for 18 months, then probation for an unspecified period of time.
Did she kill him? Yes. Was she justified? Clearly the District Attorney and the judge who routinely ruled against her didn’t think so.
Personally, I do not believe justice was served in Brittany Smith’s case.
Michael Ackermann says
Clive Edwards says
The right to defend life is the cornerstone of all civilized legal systems. Rape is covered by this right of defence whether the victim is female or male. Rape is also known as sexual assault where assault is the operative word. Non-consensual sexual activity is always rape.