You may remember the case of Brittany Smith, the woman who killed her rapist on January 16, 2018, only to find herself charged with murder despite living in Alabama – a ‘Stand Your Ground’ state.
After a long legal battle for her freedom, Brittany Smith pleaded guilty to murder in order to avoid spending the rest of her life in prison.
While I and others believe she was railroaded from the start, I take no issue with her guilty plea. Given she lost every single court battle leading up to her trial, it was impossible to believe her trial would go any differently given the bias of the judge and the Attorney General’s determination to make an example of her.
Under the terms of her plea deal, Smith served 18 months in Jackson County Jail, and will spend another 18 months under house arrest, followed by five years of supervised probation.
On May 10, 2021, Brittany Smith was released from prison – the first leg in her journey back to complete freedom.
Stand Your Ground laws are meant to protect people from criminal charges in cases exactly like this, but for reasons I’ll never understand, the District Attorney was out to get her from the start, and Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Jenifer Holt ruled against her at every opportunity.
At the Stand Your Ground hearing, Brittany testified that Todd had raped and choked her hours before the deadly shooting on Jan. 16, 2018. And a nurse testified that a sexual assault exam performed after the shooting found more than 30 injuries on Brittany’s neck, chest, breast, legs, arms and feet. There were hand-print marks around Brittany’s neck, finger-shaped marks on her inner thighs and bite marks on her neck and chin.
Victor Revill, an Alabama criminal-defense attorney who has handled many Stand Your Ground claims, reviewed Brittany Smith’s case. His analysis was Brittany’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 then 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.”
All she needed to do is win a Stand Your Ground hearing and all charges against her would be dismissed, but that’s the problem.
Brittany Smith got the hearing but lost.
On February 3, 2020, Judge Jenifer Holt denied the Brittany Smith protection under Alabama’s Stand Your Ground law.
Circuit Judge Jenifer Holt is now retired, thankfully, so she cannot destroy any other women like she did Brittany Smith’s life.
For the complete overview of Brittany Smith’s Case:
- 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
- Brittany Smith: Self-Defense Loses Another Court Battle
- Brittany Smith gives up, pleads guilty to murdering her rapist