I am so glad that Cyntoia Brown has been granted clemency. She will be released on August 7th, but will still have to serve 10 years of probation.
Her case caught social media attention with the hashtag, #freeCyntoiaBrown. A-list celebrities began to chime in, including Rihanna, Ashley Judd, and Kim Kardashian West calling for her clemency.
If you don’t know about her, read some of the background about the case here.
She was bought for sex at the age of 16 and killed the 43-year-old man that bought her thinking that he was going to kill her.
While she was claiming self-defense, others claim that Cyntoia was out to rob the deceased by taking his truck, guns, and money. They also claimed that Cyntoia shot the man while he was sleeping.
Sadly, she was tried as an adult. In 2004, she was convicted on a first-degree murder charge and sentenced to life in prison.
She was required to serve five (5) decades in prison before she would be eligible for release, which was the law in Tennessee after July 1995.
Many people thought that the sentence was way too harsh for Cyntoia, but still, she continued to serve her time. She would serve 15 years before being granted clemency by Governor Bill Haslam.
A Word of Advice:
I won’t get into the semantics of how incomplete or not fully formed the juvenile brain is b/c most won’t really care about that even though it’s true.
I don’t want to go into the fact that she is a victim, which people seem to forget. She was victimized during this whole ordeal. She was a child being bought for sex. That’s illegal and a problem that didn’t seem to matter when she was imprisoned.
I will say that she acted in a way that was impulsive and b/c she thought he was going to kill her. I mean, who knows what he was telling her or how she came to this conclusion, the point is that she acted on what she thought was true at the time.
Yes, she killed a man. Yes, she was a victim of sex-trafficking. Yes, the punishment for the crime was too harsh. She deserved, no earned, this second chance at life.
She has received her associate’s degree and will complete her bachelor’s degree in May 2019 while in prison. She is also mentoring the youth and planning a non-profit to help others when she is released.
It has been a struggle to get here, but she will finally be released soon.
Congratulations to Cyntoia!