Update: Tennessee Government granted Cyntoia Brown clemency. Bill Haslam on January 7th 2019. She was released from jail on August 8th, 2019.
This story was initially revealed on December 11th 2018.
On December 6th the Tennessee Supreme Courtroom ruled that Cyntoia Brown, a lady convicted of first-degree homicide as a teen, must serve fifty-one years in jail earlier than being eligible for parole. The choice disregards many components together with that Cyntoia Brown was solicited for sex by a forty three-yr-old man when she was solely 16, the fact that each Tennessee and US legislation has modified considerably in the Case of prosecuting minors since Brown’s first trial in 2006, and the outrage expressed by a whole bunch of thousands in a lot of petitions protesting the egregious sentencing of an at-threat-child at the mercy of a collection of predatory men.
Cyntoia Brown’s Case has attracted the attention of celebrities together with Rihanna, Kim Kardashian West, and LeBron James. Here’s what it’s good to know.
Case Against Cyntoia Brown:
On August 7th, 2004 Nashville Police responded to a 911 call and found the body of Johnny Allen a 43-year-old man. Johnny Allen was nude, lying face down in his bed. He’d been shot behind the head. In the early morning of August 8th, police found Allen’s white decide-up truck in a parking zone and arrested sixteen-yr-old Cyntoia Brown in connection with the shooting. On-time, she was staying in a close-by resort with a person she known as “Reduce Throat.” Brown had taken Allen’s wallet and a few of his guns.
She waived her Miranda Rights and advised investigators that Allen had solicited her for sex on August 6th and driven her to his home the place he showed her weapons and became brutal. She was afraid for her life and shot him with a 40-caliber handgun she had in her purse, killing him in self-defence.
Prosecutors contended that Brown’s real rationale was convicted and regardless of her age she had been billed as an adult using first-degree felony murder and aggravated robbery. She was sentenced to 2 concurrent life judgement.
Childhood of Cyntoia Brown
At her original trial, Cyntoia Brown wasn’t allowed to testify on her behalf, and her attorneys didn’t supply into evidence her traumatic childhood history and extreme neurodevelopmental disorder.
Brown’s mom drank alcohol – as a lot as “a fifth a day, if I could get it” she later admitted -all through her pregnancy. Consequently, Brown is on the foetal alcohol spectrum dysfunction, which can result in “poor impulse management and a disconnect between thought and action.” At eight-months-previous, Brown entered the foster care system and have become a runaway in her early teens. She skilled numerous rapes and assaults throughout this time.
In 2004 she began residing in a collection of lodges with the 24-year-previous man she referred to as “Cut Throat.” Her relationship with Reduce Throat was sexually, bodily, and emotionally abusive. He pulled a gun on her a number of instances, and as soon as choked her so exhausting, she passed out. Finally, he compelled her into fornication.
Brown later testified that “He explained to me that some people have been born whores and that I was one, and I used to be a slut, and no ones need me, however, him, and the perfect thing I may do was simply be taught to be a great whore.”
On the evening of August 6th, he ordered her to go out and “get money.” Brown met Allen later that night within the car parking zone of a Sonic franchise. He gets agree to pay a $150 for sex and drove them both again to his residence where she later shot him.
Brown’s Case Positive aspects of Publicity
Film-maker Dan Birman had been following Brown’s Case since her arrest, after being tipped off to the story by a forensic psychiatrist who’d been asked to interview her. In 2011, his movie, “Me Facing Life: Cyntoia Brown Story” debuted on PBS. The documentary took on many of the difficult angles of the Case including juvenile justice reform, Brown’s flawed first trial and the methods during which it was prejudiced by the truth that she was a lady of a colour partaking in sex work, and the lack of a social security net out there to young at-threat ladies like Cyntoia Brown – who’re at a high threat for Sex trafficking.
Birman’s film also helps to change the law in Tennessee: Now children under the age of 18 can’t be tried for prostitution. If she has been to arrested today, Brown could be treated like a toddler human trafficking victim.
Charles Bone, a prominent nationwide lawyer, noticed the movie and took on Brown’s Case, representing her for a 2012 appeal. Bone argued that though Brown has a high IQ, she capabilities at the cognitive level of a 13-yr-outdated as a result of her foetal alcohol spectrum dysfunction, traumatic and violent previous, and her abusive relationship with her trafficker Lower Throat.
In 2017, Brown’s Case got here again into the highlight when Rihanna shared Brown’s story on Instagram in a put up that learn: “Think about on the age of sixteen being intercourse-trafficked by a pimp named ‘reduce-throat.’ After days of being drugged and raped by completely different men, you have been bought by a 43-years old baby predator who took you to his residence to make use of you for sex. You end up finding enough braveness to battle back and shoot and kill him.”
Cara Delevingne, Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and other celebrities shared the put up inspiring the viral hashtag #FreeCyntoiaBrown. In Might 2017, Brown had clemency listening to, but the board was break up on their choice with two voting’s for mercy, two in opposition to it, and two to make her eligible for parole after 25 years.
Brown’s legal professionals have continued to argue her Case was saying her sentence is unconstitutional based on a 2012 Supreme Court docket ruling that discovered that life imprisonment sentences for minors violate the Eighth Modification’s ban on cruel and strange punishment.
Where’s Cyntoia Brown Now?
On Thursday, the Tennessee Supreme Court dominated that Brown’s sentence was not unconstitutional based mostly on a loop hole that defines a “life sentence” as 60 years. In a press release the court wrote “below state law, a life sentence is a determinate sentence of 60 years. However, the sixty-yr sentence may be lowered by up to 15 percent, or 9 years, by earning various sentence credits.” In different words, the courtroom dominated that because Brown’s sentence is 51 years and never 60, it is not technically a “life sentence” and due to this fact doesn’t violate the US Supreme Court ruling that forbids convicting minors to prison phrases equivalent to the loss of life in prison.
Even more disturbing: Brown was capable of receiving the credit that decreased her 60-12 months-sentence on account of her model behavior. She received her affiliate’s degree in jail and mentors different feminine inmates.
Brown’s case is presently pending judgment by the US Sixth Circuit Courtroom of Appeals.
Read Further About the Cyntoia Brown Documentary : Murder to mercy