Justice may be on the horizon for Cyntoia Brown.
The 30-year-old faces a clemency hearing on May 23 relating to her case where she is serving a 51-year-sentence in a Tennessee jail after she murdered a 43-year-old man who picked her up for sex at the age of 16.
According to the The Tennessean, Brown’s petition will be argued in front of the state Board of Probation and Parole, who will determine if she will be released from the Tennessee Prison for Women.
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However, the final decision lies in the hands of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, who in his tenure has never granted a clemency petition. The hearing news comes two days after the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati agreed to hear oral arguments on June 14.
Brown’s case captured the nation’s attention as the sex trafficking and prison reform continue to be major topics of discussion and contention in the American discourse. Brown’s case also highlights the need to revisit the juvenile court system in regards to sentencing and terms of parole.
As we previously reported, Brown was sentenced to life in prison after she fatally shot Johnny Allen in 2004. Brown revealed that her boyfriend at the time, who also served as her pimp, assaulted her and ordered her to go make money. Brown’s lawyers argued that the relationship was violate and abusive–wrecking great damage to Brown’s self-esteem and sense of worth.
After venturing out, she met Allen who offered her money in exchange for sex. Fearing for her life, she found a -40. caliber gun and shot Allen in the back of the head. Brown said that she thought he was getting a gun when she saw him reach under the bed. Prosecutors argued in court that Brown was complicit in theft, saying that after she shot him, she took his money, two guns and fled.
Since serving her sentence, Brown’s lawyers argue that she has been a model citizen by serving as mentor to younger inmates. Brown also completed her associate’s degree from Lipscomb University. Several celebrities including Rihanna, T.I. and Kim Kardashian have also rallied around Brown’s case.