How a Mother of Three Stays Positive During House Arrest

It's a case that sparked national interest.

A mother of three from Jacksonville, Florida, sentenced to a staggering 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot in the air during an argument with her estranged husband at their home.

Marissa Alexander testified that she had feared for her life and had been the victim of abuse at the hands of her husband.

INSIDE EDITION's Les Trent asked, "Were you frightened?"

"Yeah. I mean frightened isn't even the word. It was worse than that. It's just unbelievabe. Your heart sinks," said Marissa.

Coming off the heals of George Zimmerman's exoneration after the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, Marissa's conviction fueled outrage and cries of a racial double standard.  

"Where is the mercy? Where is the compassion? Where is the justice? It does not stand today in Jacksonville and it's unacceptable," she said.

The warning shot that could have sent Marissa Alexander to jail for two decades was fired inside her house and despite what many thought as a gross misjustice. Marissa says she was always confident that she would never serve that entire sentence.

In total, Marissa spent three years behind bars before her conviction was successfully overturned. Now, she's back home but the ordeal is far from over.

"They monitor you constantly?" asked Trent.

"Yes, all the time," said Marissa.

"So when you take the kids to school, when you go to a doctors appointment, when you go to your probations?"

"Everything, everywhere," she said.

Marissa is currently serving a two year house arrest sentence. But says after all she's been through she can't complain.

"Once you've had the opportunity to be beside women who have had 45 years and life and have been their for 20 and some of them have been there for 40. Im blessed. I think everyone has a journey and this was my journey," said Marissa.

You can read more about Marissa's story in the May issue of Essence.