The case of Cyntoia Brown has been a matter of interest for a long time. It made headlines a few days ago after the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that
Now, the Governor of Tennessee, Bill Haslam, is considering clemency for Brown before he leaves office in January 2019. Activists across the country are now pressuring the governor to see this through.
#CyntoiaBrown is why we march — because women and girls should not be punished for surviving. Because women and girls of color are criminalized at disproportionate rates. Because there is no safety and freedom for women while Cyntoia remains behind bars. https://t.co/gYzrPaOy9e
— Women’s March (@womensmarch) December 7, 2018
Brown, born in January 1988, was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. Her assailant, Garion
Brown came into contact with Johnny Mitchell Allen, a 43-year-old man who solicited her for sex and drove her to his house, where she shot him. Although she was 16 at the time, she was tried as an adult and sentenced to jail for life in 2006.
During the trial, Brown revealed that McGlothen had sold her to Allen and that she had killed the latter in self-defence, fearing that he would attack and kill her. She also took some money from Allen to take back to McGlothen.
The prosecution countered, saying that she had gone with Allen with the intent of robbing him. She was found guilty of first-degree premeditated murder, first-degree felony murder, and especially aggravated robbery.
Her case has made headlines on and off over the years, getting the attention of celebrities like Rihanna and Kim Kardashian West.
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did we somehow change the definition of #JUSTICE along the way?? cause….. Something is horribly wrong when the system enables these rapists and the victim is thrown away for life! To each of you responsible for this child’s sentence I hope to God you don’t have children, because this could be your daughter being punished for punishing already! #FREECYNTOIABROWN #HowManyMore
In May 2018, the Tennessee board was split in its recommendation to Governor Haslam on granting Brown clemency. The voted ended with two pro-clemency, two against and two to make Brown eligible for parole after 25 years.
On December 2018, a five-member bench of the Tennessee Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Brown must serve 51 years in jail for her crime. It said, “under state law, a life sentence is a determinate sentence of 60 years. However, the sixty-year sentence can be reduced by up to 15 per cent, or 9 years, by earning various sentence credits.”
As Governor Haslam is considering clemency, Brown’s case is pending judgement by the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Meanwhile, petitions have been set up to call for clemency for Brown.
Gov. @BillHaslam can grant #CyntoiaBrown clemency before he leaves office January, 2019. WE can make sure he does: Call/email TODAY and demand that Tennessee’s Governor pardons Cyntoia or commutes her sentence. (615) 741-2001 https://t.co/Trbs07JfWW #FreeCyntoiaBrown #FreeCyntoia pic.twitter.com/VUizIH6ox3— • elisabeth • (@elisabeth) December 10, 2018