Welcome Home – Cyntoia Brown !
After serving 15 years of a life sentence in prison, Cyntoia Brown now 31, as been released from Tennessee Prison for Women on August, 7th. Brown was only 16 year old, when she admitted to killing a man 43-year-old Johnny Allen, who she was sold to for $150 from her pimp for sex. According to NY Times court documents, The 16 year old admitted to the crime, claiming she was afraid for her life. Brown was charged as an adult with 1st degree murder and aggravated robbery, a jury sentenced her to life in prison. Cynotia did not have a easy life coming up, she was a runway, growing up in foster care homes, and a mother on drugs soon lead her to an unhealthy lifestyle. Brown had been living with a pimp called "Cut Throat" who forced her into prostitution. He was verbally and physically abusive to her after she ran away from her adoptive family in 2004. On the night of the murder she claims Allen made her fear for her life before she shot him in the back with a gun she kept in her purse, as he slept. After shooting Allen, she robbed him for two guns and money before fleeing. The Cyntoia Brown story went viral after celebrities like Rihanna and Kim Kardashian-West put her story on their social media, starting the #FreeCyntoiaBrown movement. Getting the attention of the the nation, many felt that due to the circumstances and with the age of 16 age old years, her punishment was cruel and unjust. Her case gained new scrutiny with the rise of the #MeToo movement, as her supporters drew attention to the case using the hashtag #FreeCyntoiaBrown. Criminal justice reform advocates portrayed Brown's case as an example of the unreasonable incarceration of a teenager who was a victim of sex trafficking.
In early January,Tennessee Gov. ( at the time ), Bill Haslam granted her clemency. Reported from Fox News, Haslam said it was too harsh a sentence for a crime Brown admitted to committing as a teen, especially given the steps she has taken to rebuild her life. She earned her GED and completed studies with Lipscomb University as an inmate. Now a free and married women, according to Yona Deshommes, associate director of publicity for Atria. Oct. 15 "Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System," is scheduled to be published. The book is based on her writings in prison during 15 years of incarceration. Brown says, she hopes to use her experience to help other women and girls suffering abuse and exploitation.
There are millions of Cyntoia Brown - 24.9 million in the U.S via ( https://www.state.gov/reports/2019-trafficking-in-persons-report/ ) making this a $99 billion illegal profitable business.