Cynthia Brown Released After 15 Years Jail On Murder Charge


Cyntoia Brown, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for killing a man at the age of 16, has been released from Nashville jail, Tennessee officials announced early Wednesday.

Earlier this year, the then Governor. Bill Haslam's unusual move to grant Brown a pardon, which he called a "tragic and complicated case", is a major victory for Brown and his supporters, who have argued for years that the 2004 murder was an act of self-defense.

Over the years, Brown's struggle for liberation has led to her defense as a leading advocate, a PBS documentary and supporting celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West and Rihanna. His case prompted the introduction of state legislation aimed at protecting minors, who are victims of sexual trafficking.

In 2006, Brown was convicted of aggravated robbery and first-degree murder for the murder of 43-year-old real estate agent Johnny Allen, with whom he went home for sex at a sonic drive-in in Nashville. She had gone.

He told police that he took out a gun from his bag and shot Ellen because he thought he was looking for a gun.

He then ran away with Alan's weapon and money. She sat in her van and left.

Prosecutors said Brown shot Allen as part of a plan to steal, but Brown told police he was working to protect himself. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder.

The United States Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life sentences without parole for juvenile offenders are not constitutional, but Tennessee prosecutors successfully argued that Brown would technically be eligible for parole after 51 years in 2055.

Brown, now 31, was one of more than 180 inmates serving life in the state for crimes they committed when they were teenagers.

He never testified during his trial, but during his appeals process, Brown, a fugitive juvenile, took the position and told how, at the time of the murder, he was in an abusive relationship with a drug dealer Was caught, known as a cut. The throat that forced her into prostitution.

His case won new scrutiny with the emergence of the #MeToo movement, as his supporters drew attention to the case using the hashtag #FreeCyntoiaBrown. Proponents of criminal justice reform described Brown's case as an example of unfair imprisonment of a teenager who was a victim of sexual trafficking.

"Can we change the definition of #Justice in any way?" Rihanna asked about Brown in a 2017 Instagram post that she received about 2 million likes. "The system has failed," Kardashian West tweeted.

While underdeveloped, Brown earned his GED, completed a bachelor's degree and was a mentor to low-risk youth.

Haslam, while serving his sentence for probation in January, said: "there must be change with hope."

On Tuesday, the National Women's Law Center waged a lengthy legal battle, which released Brown, but with a warning note.

The group said on Twitter, "We are delighted that Cynthia has finally been released, but we must not forget that she should never have been in jail. We should continue to seek justice for survivors like her."

Its editor announced that Brown would release memory in October describing his traumatic childhood, how he changed his life behind bars and events that led to his conviction for murder and eventual release.