Congratulations to Cyntoia Brown on her early release from prison. At the age of 16, she was convicted of the murder and robbery of Johnny Michael Allen. Brown said that Allen had paid her $150 to have sex with him and that she feared for her life during their encounter, leading her to shoot him. Prosecutors argued that Brown killed Allen in order to rob him. Brown was found guilty and sentenced to 51 years to life. After renewed interest in her case in 2018, the governor of Tennessee commuted her original sentence to 15 years, scheduling her for release today.
Cyntoia Brown had been given up for adoption by her biological mother, Georgina Mitchell, when she was two years old. When Mitchell became pregnant with Cyntoia she continued consuming Mitchell began using crack cocaine when Cyntoia was eight months old, and she was given up to Ellenette Brown. In 2004 she had become a runaway by the time she was 16 Brown’s encounters included many rapes. She was assaulted during or before being raped, and times when she was under the influence of drugs. Brown had a physically and sexually abusive pimp named “Kut-throat” who forced her into prostitution.
Brown was picked up by Johnny Allen, and taken to his house on August 6, 2004. Brown admitted that for several weeks leading up to that day, she had been repeatedly raped and was on drugs. When she arrived at Allen’s house, she found it contained several guns. Brown said that she was afraid that she would be shot, which led her to shoot and kill Allen. Brown was then arrested for Allen’s murder.
Her self defense plea was not accepted and she was sentenced to 51 years. The fact that this young black woman was not only sexually abused, but physically and mentally abused should have been a factor in the decision. On January 7, 2019, Haslam who commuted Cyntoia Brown’s said his decision came “after careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case” and further stated that “imposing a life sentence on a juvenile that would require her to serve at least 51 years before even being eligible for parole consideration is too harsh.”
Again congratulations to Cyntoia Brown and much success on your second chance at life