Cyntoia Brown, the young black woman who was sentenced to life in prison for killing a man who bought her as a teen to serve as a sex slave, will get a clemency hearing that could possibly—and finally—set her free.
According to The New York Times, this is the first time a hearing on the controversial case will be heard May 23, said Melissa McDonald, a spokeswoman for the state Board of Probation and Parole.
Brown has served 13 years in jail and was found guilty of killing a pimp known as “Kut Throat.” When she was just 16. Her lawyer, Charles Bone, argued that the pimp forced her to prostitute after she ran away from her adopted family. Bone said he raped her repeatedly and abused her.
In 2004, Cyntoia was arrested in Tennessee for the murder of “Kut Throat” whose real name was Johnny Mitchell Allen. Theman was a Nashville real estate agent and child predator who paid to have sex with the teen. Allen drove Brown to his house in his pickup truck. She shot him in the back of the head, in bed, with a .40-caliber gun after she reportedly feared for her life.
The 2011 PBS documentary, Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story, details what this young woman suffered. The pimp allegedly forced her into prostitution and she was regularly raped, choked, beaten and drugged, according to reports.
Brown was found guilty of first-degree murder and aggravated robbery.
“While Cyntoia’s clemency application is still in process, we will not be making any further public comments,” Bone said on Thursday.
“It is up to the governor to decide the process after we make our recommendation,” McDonald said. “The governor may act on it or choose not to act.”
State Representative Jeremy Faison, a Republican from Nashville is pushing for legislation that would review the life sentences of minors after serving 15 years in prison. He also advocates for the release of Cyntoia Brown.