When she was 16, Cyntoia Brown killed a man who bought her for sexuality. After 15 times served, she’s been granted full clemency.
Cyntoia Brown’s case has tested the limits of our judicial systems and gained “members attention” of criminal justice reform advocates and celebrities alike. Here’s a rundown of the basics of her lawsuit 😛 TAGEND
Brown was born to a mom who mistreated narcotics and alcohol and who placed her with a view to its adoption. As a teen, Brown ran away from her adoptive family and was taken in by a pimp, who raped her and forced her into prostitution. In 2004, a 43 -year-old real estate agent, Johnny Allen, paid $150 to have sex with Brown–then 16 — and took her to his home.
Brown claims that she reckoned “the mens” was going to kill her, so she killed him. Prosecutors claim she killed the man in his sleep in order to steal from him, as she took money, firearms, and the man’s car when she fled the murder scene.
Despite being a minor and an alleged victim of sex trafficking, Brown was tried as an adult, was guilty of slaughter, and sentenced to life in prison. Under Tennessee law, her first possibility at parole would not arrive until 2055 — when Brown would be in her late 60 s.
But as one of his final is acting in agency, Tennessee governor Bill Haslam has awarded Brown full clemency .</ strong> Brown will be released from prison on August 7, 2019 and live under supervised parole for ten years.
Brown’s case raised important questions about how we administer justice when convicted offenders are victims themselves–especially when they are underaged.
There is no question that Brown killed Allen. The question is how she should pay for that crime when she was legally a child at the time and the main victims of multiple misdemeanours herself. At 16, Brown was under the control of a violent pimp known as “Kut Throat, ” who raped her himself and was trafficking her for sex. The age of consent in Tennesseewas( and still is) 18, so Allen was guilty not only of soliciting Brown as a prostitute, but likewise of raping her.
Should a child who has been exploited and victimized in so many routes pay the same price as an adult? In a genuinely just system, would a child who was the main victims of heinous felonies not be granted some grace for killing someone who played an active role in her victimization?
These are the questions about Brown’s case that described advocates from all the regions of the social justice landscape to protect her as a sex trafficking victim, including Rihanna, Lebron James, and Amy Schumer.
Brown says she will use her freedom to help young girls avoid discovering themselves in situations like hers.
Governor Haslam was indicated in a statement regarding his mildnes order:
“Cyntoia Brown dedicated, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16. Yet, imposing a life sentence on a juvenile that would require her to serve at the least 51 years before even being eligible for benefits parole consideration is too harsh, especially in light of the extraordinary steps Ms. Brown has taken to rebuild her life. Transformation should be accompanied by hope. So, I am commuting Ms. Brown’s sentence, subject to certain conditions.”
Those conditions include undergoing advise, get a chore, and completing community service hours.
Brown has invested part of her 15 times in prison studying, earning excellent grades in her courses, and is slated to complete her bachelor’s degree from Lipscomb University in May 2019.
In a statement, Brown said, “Thank you, Governor Haslam, for your act of mercy in giving me a second chance. I will do everything I can to justify your faith in me.” She also thanked “those at the Tennessee Department of Corrections who saw something in me worth salvaging…”
Brown hopes to make a difference in the lives of girls who may find themselves in circumstances like hers. “With God’s help, I am committed to live the rest of “peoples lives” helping others, specially young people, ” she said. “My hope is to help other young girl avoid terminating up where I have been.”
Imprisonment is meant to keep civilized culture safe from dangerous crooks. Clearly this woman is not a danger to culture, and keeping her behind saloons would be a gross misuse of our judicial systems. Kudos to Governor Haslam for doing the right thing, and good luck today to Ms. Brown with her newfound freedom.