Being a victim of child sex trafficking, Cyntoia Brown served 15 years in prison for murdering her 43 year old sex master she claims paid her for sex. So she needed a way out and the only way out she saw was acting in self defense, killing off her tormentor. Before being released from Nashville prison; earlier this year, then- Governor Bill Haslam took the unusual leap to grant Brown clemency for what he called a “tragic and complex case”.
Over the years, the fight for Brown’s release has brought prominent lawyers to her defense, a PBS documentary and backing from celebrities including Kim Kardashian West and Rihanna.
“Did we somehow change the definition of #JUSTICE along the way??” Rihanna asked in a 2017 Instagram post about Brown that receivd nearly 2 million likes. “The system has failed,” Kardashian West tweeted.
On Tuesday, the National Women’s Law Center celebrated the long legal battle that led to Brown’s release.
What Motivated Cyntoia Brown To Kill Her Offender
In 2006, Brown was convicted of aggravated robbery and first-degree murder for killing 43-year old real estate agent Johnny Allen; whom she went home with after he picked her up for sex at a Sonic Drive in Nashville. She confessed to police that she pulled a pistol out of her purse and fatally shot Allen because he appeared to be reaching for a gun. Thus, she fled with Allen’s guns and money before driving away in his pickup truck. Prosecutors claimed that Brown shot Allen as part of a plan to rob him. But Brown told police she was simply protecting herself. She was convicted and sentenced to life in prison over the killing. Yet, Kyle Rittenhouse, a white male, same age, can go and murder three people at a BLM protest and be acquitted due to self defense. Make it make sense.
Over time, her case gained notoriety when it was discovered that she was dating a big time drug dealer nick-named Cut Throat; who forced her into prostitution. This was at the time of the #MeToo movement, which further polarized these types of cases. Brown, now 31 years old; was among more than 180 inmates serving life sentences for teenaged committed crimes. Her supporters continued to draw national attention with the hashtag #FreeCyntoiaBrown.
The Case Sparked Legislation Reform
Criminal justice reform advocates said Brown’s case was an example of the unreasonable incarceration of minor aged sex victims. After the case went viral, new state legislations aimed focus at protecting similar cases.
The Silver Lining In The Tradgedy
At least she used her time wisely and her labor was not in vain apparently since while incarcerated Brown earned her GED; finished a bachelors degree and mentored at-risk youth.
Brown’s publisher announced that Brown will release a memoir in October that will describe her traumatic childhood; and how she transformed her life from behind bars. Not to mention the events that led to her murder conviction and ultimately being released from prison.
Cyntoia found love and got married to Pretty Ricky’s Jay Long. They had been writing each other while she was incarcerated. Happy for the couple!