Cyntoia Brown Granted Clemency
Written by: Hakeem Shabazz-Norris
Behind the bars of the American Criminal Justice System, there are millions of different stories as to why they are there. Some people have been framed, some people are pure evil, but then are those who were led down the wrong path and lived a life that spiraled beyond their control. That is the story for now 30-year-old Cyntoia Brown. But just as quick as life can spiral out of control, life can snap back just like that. After serving over 15 years in prison for the murder Johnny Michael Allen, Cyntoia Brown has been granted clemency and will be released on August 7th.
If you’ve been under a rock for the last fifteen or so years, let’s breakdown the Cyntoia Brown case.
Cyntoia Brown did not have the best childhood growing up. Born in Tennessee in 1988, Brown was born into a broken home with little to no hope. As her mother drunk alcohol during her pregnancy, and soon fell victim to crack cocaine shortly after her birth, Brown was given up for adoption.
After spending time with the state’s Department of Children’s Services, Brown ran away from her adoptive home in 2004. While homeless, Brown got involved with the wrong crows, and soon became yet another victim of sex-trafficking, under a pimp named “Kut-Throat”. And this is how she met Johnny Michael Allen. The incidents that occurred that fateful night are very sketchy, but some are understood. According to the Tennessean: “Nashville real estate agent Johnny Allen is found naked with a gunshot wound to the back of his head in his Mossdale Drive home. Brown, 16, told police he picked her up at a Sonic Drive-in. Brown said she was a teen prostitute and shot Allen, 43, because she thought he was reaching for a gun under his bed.” Soon after this incident occurred, the court system sentenced Brown to 51 years in before being eligible for release.
During different parole and clemency hearings over the years, Brown’s story seemed to shift, While people first believed that she shot him due to her being afraid of him, after the discovery of a note written by Brown that was given to an inmate, that was stated to be false. But soon Gov. Bill Haslam came to the decision that after a “tragic and complex case” that was unfair imposing a life sentence on a juvenile that would require her to serve at least 51 years before being eligible for parole.
After over 15 years, Cyntoia Brown will finally be able to go home and restart her life. While the death of Johnny Allen was tragic, it showed a little 16-year-old girl that there is more to life. Welcome home, Miss Brown.