Given A Life Sentence After Killing Her Alleged Rapist? Sex Trafficking Victim, Cyntoia Brown Could Be Freed Soon

by Brianna Moné Williams

December 17, 2018

Photo by Instagram, @badgalriri

Cyntoia Brown is currently serving time for a life sentence for killing the man who bought her for sex when she was 16 years old, but fortunately, her sentence might be cut short. The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled last week that she would have to serve at least 51 years in prison before she’s eligible for release.

After that announcement, social media blew up with outrage, and celebrities like Rihanna, T.I., and Kim Kardashian West used their platforms to speak out on Cyntoia’s behalf:

And because of that, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam is reviewing her case, and he says he hopes to make a decision before he leaves office next month: “We’ll hopefully have a decision — I’m just here for six more weeks, so it’ll be before that. But we’re doing our best to review every aspect of that, talking to everybody involved, just like we are with several other — I wouldn’t say exactly similar cases — but somewhat similar cases.”

Hopefully, that should becomes a will.

According to CCN, in Tennessee, clemency decisions rest solely with the governor, though the state’s Board of Parole can make recommendations. Back in May, Brown’s case came up again, and the parole board was split three ways for her fate. Two members were for her getting out, two opposed it, and the last two favored making her eligible for parole after serving 25 years.

In 2011 filmmaker Daniel Birman debuted his documentary Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story where he shared Cyntoia’s story. The documentary sparked a conversation to change Tennessee laws about convicting children of first-degree murder and forcing them into lengthy prison sentences. Watch a clip from the documentary below:

In 2004, 43-year-old Johnny Mitchell Allen solicited a 16-year-old Cyntoia for sex. He took her back to his house, where she resisted his efforts to sexually abuse and hurt her. She recalls seeing a gun cabinet at Allen’s home. After he reached under the bed, and in fear that he was going to hurt her, she took a gun out of her purse and shot him. Although she was only a teenager, Brown was tried as an adult and sentenced to life in prison.

 

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