She was 16 when she committed her crime.
10 Diciembre 2018 12:35
A victim of sex trafficking, Cyntoia Brown was just 16 years old when she shot and killed a 43-year-old man who had solicited her for sex. She claims she did so in self-defense. You've probably heard about her case. It began to receive international attention when celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Rihanna rallied behind Brown and began raising awareness on social media last year.
Despite being a minor when she committed her crime, Cyntoia Brown was tried as an adult. She was found guilty of first-degree murder, and sentenced to life. She currently isn't eligible for patrol until the age of 69.
By the age of 14, Brown – who suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome – had run away from home and was more or less living on the street. At 16, she was living with an abusive 24-year-old boyfriend, known as 'Kut Throat', who reportedly had forced her into prostitution. Brown claims that on that day in 2004, when she would end up killing Johnny Mitchell Allen, Kut Throat had hit her and insisted she go out and bring home money.
Allen had picked up a 16-year-old Cyntoia Brown on the side of the road. He had then taken her to his house to have sex with her. Brown has explained that Allen showed her his gun collection before getting into bed with her. At one point, Allen reached down under the bed, and Brown thought he was reaching for a gun. Fearing for her life, she pulled out her own gun from her bag and shot him. She took money from his wallet before leaving.
The system has failed. It’s heart breaking to see a young girl sex trafficked then when she has the courage to fight back is jailed for life! We have to do better & do what’s right. I’ve called my attorneys yesterday to see what can be done to fix this. #FreeCyntoiaBrown pic.twitter.com/73y26mLp7u— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) 21 November 2017
Lawyers have been fighting for Brown's future, challenging the fairness of her first trial. Her case has even prompted laws to change in Tennessee: in 2012, the Miller v. Alabama ruling deemed that mandatory life sentences for juveniles without the possibility of parole are unconstitutional. Unfortunately these changes don't apply to Brown, but they do give her more ammo when appealing the ruling in federal court.
The Tennessee Supreme Court has now unanimously ruled that life sentences for first-degree murders must be 60 years, and that sentences could only be shortened by up to 15% through good behavior, dealing a blow to Brown's fight for freedom. The Court will share this opinion with the US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, in which Brown is currently appealing her case.
Brown is also asking Tennessee's governor for clemency.
Watch below to learn more about Cyntoia Brown's case: