If you look through various news outlets and social media platforms recently, you’ll see one name plastered everywhere: Cyntoia Brown.
For many she is a familiar face, plastered across the internet for years with thousands of people supporting the release of the young imprisoned woman. Brown is a prime example of the failed US justice system, neglecting the cries of a victim, while painting her a murderer instead. Today however, she is one step closer to freedom.
Tennessee governor Bill Haslam has made Brown’s dreams come true, granting her clemency for her life sentence after she has served 15 years in prison currently. Brown was arrested and sentenced for life at the mere age of 16 for murder. In 2004, Brown murdered 43 year-old real estate agent Johnny Allen with a shotgun. The court claims she had murdered him with the intentions to rob him, but her lawyers have stated that she was a victim of sex-trafficking and feared for her life by a man that she felt unsafe with. To defend herself, she shot Allen and fled the scene and since then has felt the guilt of taking one’s life away.
In the eyes of the court, she should have been charged as a juvenile, but instead was charged as an adult over simply defending herself. While in prison, Brown has achieved a degree at Lipscomb University while rebuilding her life from where she had started before.
‘I am thankful to my lawyers and their staffs, and all the others who, for the last decade have freely given of their time and expertise to help me get to this day.’
‘I love all of you and will be forever grateful. With God’s help, I am committed to live the rest of my life helping others, especially young people. My hope is to help other young girls avoid ending up where I have been.’
Outpouring support from stars such as Kim Kardashian West and Rihanna, as well as pressure from the public, Brown’s story has given many hope for second chances in life. She is due to be released on August 7th, 2019.
“We truly serve a God of second chances and new beginnings. The Lord has held my hand this whole time and I would have never made it without him. Let today be a testament to his saving grace.”