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5 racially charged self-defense cases that echo Zimmerman

The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin has ignited a national conversation about race and the criminal justice system in the United States. It has also brought badly needed attention to the uneven application of self-defense laws across race and gender.

But while the tragic death of Trayvon -- and fraught Zimmerman trial -- garnered national attention, far too many cases that reveal deep cracks and prejudices in our society and system go unnoticed.

Here, a roundup of five cases -- some of which are still being argued in court -- that you may have missed:

Marissa Alexander

Invoking Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law did little to protect Marissa Alexander, a 31-year-old African-American mother of three, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison after she fired a warning shot to ward off her husband during a domestic violence incident. Alexander, who had a protective order out against her husband, aimed her shot at the ceiling, injuring no one.

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