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Cyntoia Brown was a 16 years old when she was arrested for killing the man who allegedly solicited her for sex, Johnny Allen.
Brown, who is a victim of sex trafficking says in her defense, she believed he was reaching for a gun to kill her. Although many have rallied behind her along with The Women’s March, Kim Kardashian and Rihanna, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that she must “serve 51 years before she is eligible for release.”
“On Thursday the court said defendants like Brown, who are convicted of first-degree murder committed after July 1, 1995 and sentenced to life imprisonment, can’t become eligible for release from prison before serving more than five decades.”
This ruling comes after a lawsuit filed claiming Brown’s life sentence is unconstitutional. According to reports, only 20 states along with the District of Columbia have banned life without parole for minors. Unfortunately, Tennessee is not one of those states.
In a statement released by a U.S. District Court in Tennessee:
“Her sentence was different because she received a “life sentence, not a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.”
Refinery 29 reports:
“In 2004, Brown was forced into prostitution by a pimp known as “Cut Throat” who she believed was her boyfriend. According to court documents, Allen allegedly brought Brown to his home and paid her to have sex with him. She was under the state’s age of consent at the time. In her testimony, Brown said that Allen showed her multiple guns in his home. When she believed that he was reaching under his bed to grab a gun and shoot her, she grabbed a gun out of her purse and shot him. She was tried as an adult and convicted of first-degree premeditated murder, first-degree felony murder, and especially aggravated robbery. Brown has already served 14 years in prison.”