From serving a life sentence to Freedom
Being convicted of life in prison as a teen and no eligibility for parole until 2055. Cyntoia Brown was expecting to spend the rest of her life behind bars. On August 7th the now 31 year old walked out of the Nashville prison a free woman, after being convicted of murder. armed robbery and serving 15 years behind bars she is finally free. A lot of people have been following this story as it has gotten publicity from stars like Rihanna and Kim K. PBS did a documentary on Brown's life story and what she did leading up to her conviction.
Cyntoia Brown was a teen runaway who ran into a pimp name Cutthroat who sold her and used her to make money. The then 16 year old was expecting to get a regular sell but ended up having to defend herself. Prosecutors ignored the fact that she was in a sex trafficking and being pimped outside of a motel and decided to label her a troubled teen, turned killer. Light was shined on the darkness. As Cyntoia continued to fight for her freedom and continue to better her life while in the prison. Since Brown has been in prison she has received both her associates and bachelors degree, as well as mentor for at risk youths program. Although she didn't testify at her initial trial she spoke up during the appeal to let her voice be heard.
The Governor of Tennessee granted Brown Clemency back in January of this year. She will serve 10 years of probation where she will need to maintain a job, be in touch with office and abide by certain federal regulations. This shouldn't be a problem for Cyntoia as she has spent the last 10 years rehabilitating herself and is currently working on publishing a book that is expecting to publish Mid- October according to her publisher. Her publisher also stated the 31 year old is married and the book mentions an unlikely romance. However the publisher did not give any further details about the marriage.
This case received a lot of publicity from around the states. From local broadcasters, celebrities and television networks. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Lebron James and Rihanna have spoken up about the issue and congratulated her on her release. During her trial, the hash tag such as #freecyntoiabrown along side the #metoo movement was retweeted and used in post to show support and let it be known of the unjustice of the courts. A couple of petitions and websites were created to help Brown fight for justice and other young woman with similar issues. A lot of at risk youths who runaway, fall into sex trafficking, drug and alcohol addiction and gang affiliation. Unfortunately they are more likely to be punished, rather than rehabilitated. There are many other Cyntoia Brown's out there in and out of prison who need help. Brown states she wants to help girls who are in similar situations as her.
There was a "freecyntoiabrown" website for supporters to write her and put money on her books.The website is still live and there is also a petition to help with other black girls who are facing the same situation. Since so much awareness has been brought to this case many other cases are being viewed and people are looking at women who have committed crimes for simply trying to defend themselves. A couple of cases have been tried and some women who were facing long term sentence have received clemency or lighter sentences. These are not perpetrators but women simply trying to survive. Below is the link to the website as well as a link to the PBS story.