Here are 5 Fast Facts to familiarise you with the young woman behind the social media interest:
- Who is Cyntoia Brown? Miss Brown was arrested in 2004, at the age of 16 for the murder of a man named Johnny Allen after she robbed him during a transaction for sexually ilicit services. Cyntoia was sentenced to life in prison ven though she was a minor at the time (and US Law dictates now that minors should be given sentences that seek to take into account their age, lifespan and chance for rehabilitation rather than throw their lives away where possible). She was sentenced in the First Degree which meant that the jury saw it applicable she either planned the murder or it was so heinous that it could not be seen to be a crime of passion or self defence.
- Why? Cyntoia’s story has moved many people throughout the years – particularly in the aftermath of the BBC produced documentary ‘Cyntoia’s Story’ back in 2006. That’s because her case was deemed to be dealt with far too harshly due to the nature of her background and the events that led up to her shooting her client that day. Cyntoia Brown had actually been the daughter of a drug addicted teen-mother, who gave her up to a school friend’s mother to raise. When Cyntoia was 16 she was kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery/sex trafficking by a man named ‘Cut Throat’ and made to traipse around the country from motels to hotels, living with, having sex under duress (legally she was a minor so morally and legally being raped and sexually assaulted by her captor and other adult men – as she could not give her consent). She was given drugs, alcohol and barely fed and by the time the night came of the murder for which she is now sentenced to life in prison for – Cyntoia had bared too much and snapped in a split moment of self defence and PTSD which led her to take out the man who immediately posed a risk to her life.
- If you want to get more of the whole story then you should really refer to the 2011 documentary entitled ‘Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story.’ You should also check out resources online which provide great deal of information about sex trafficking and child prostitution rings, as well as Stockholm Syndrome and the ways in which PTSD work on victims of abuse and coercion.
- Celebrities are getting behind her including that of Rihanna and compellingly – Kim Kardashian West has called upon her high powered attorneys some of which worked on the infamous OJ case with her father Rob Kardashian Sr, to help get Cyntoia the justice she needs.
- Some views are mixed as people believe that Cyntoia deserved a life sentence for taking a life. However, others disagree, stating that her circumstances and state of mind while the act was taken were reason enough that she should have served a short sentence and been given counselling and mental rehabilitation to help her overcome what she had gone through over the years that of which ultimately put her in a situation where the wrong thing ended up happening.
- ‘Inaffective Assistance of Counsel’ after reading through some transcripts of Cyntoia’s trial I was able to find that the State of Tennessee found she did not have adequate legal defense to serve her best interests during trial – they did not talk about her compounding mental health and emotional issues nor did they represent her as well as they could.
One thing is for sure, that with her name back in the spotlight and with many grounds for a retrial – including her not understanding her Miranda Rights when arraigned by police nor her being given adequate counsel who could have brought forth medical and professional experts to testify on her behalf etc Cyntoia may stand a shot for another chance at justice.