A court said sex trafficking survivor Cyntoia Brown must serve 51 years for killing a man who solicited the then teen for sex.
Brown challenged her mandatory life sentence after she was convicted in 2004 for killing the man who solicited her for sex when she was 16. Despite her age, Brown was tried as an adult.
In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional to give life sentences without parole to children. So Brown appealed for an earlier release. But the Tennessee Supreme Court said she must serve 51 years before she can be considered for release.
Brown has said she was acting out of self-defense when she killed the 43-year-old man because she thought he was reaching for a gun to kill her.
Many say Brown’s imprisonment isn’t a fair punishment for someone who was fighting to survive and this recent ruling is an injustice to survivors of abuse worldwide.
Brown has been serving time at the Tennessee Prison for Women for more than a decade. Her case is now pending with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals but many say the argument from Tennessee’s highest court is a devastating outcome.
America doesn’t believe women who face sexual violence. That problem is both cultural and structural. It feeds our prisons, for one. Cyntoia Brown was 16, and about to be raped. She thought he was going to kill her. Now she got 51 years. It is a travesty. https://t.co/49o3nKBf0M
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) December 9, 2018