CYNTOIA Brown was jailed for the murder of a man who she said solicited her for sex when she was a 16-year-old teenage trafficking victim.
After serving 13 years in prison she was released on August 7, 2019 and her story has been made into a Netflix documentary called Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown story.
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Cyntoia Brown during her clemency hearing
Who is Cyntoia Brown?
Cyntoia Brown was charged with murdering a man in 2004 when she was a 16-year-old prostitute.
She was tried as an adult for killing 43-year-old estate agent Johnny Allen, who she said agreed to pay her $150 and drove her to his home in Nashville.
Her lawyers contended she was a victim of sex trafficking, who not only feared for her life but also lacked the mental capacity to be culpable in the slaying, because she was impaired by her mother's alcohol use while she was in the womb.
However she was found guilty in 2006 and jailed for life for the killing.
How long was Cyntoia Brown in jail for?
In January 2019, fifteen years after Brown was charged with murder, Gov Bill Haslam granted clemency because he viewed the 51 year original sentence "too harsh" – she served 13 years in jail.
After being released from jail on August 7, 2019, Brown is on parole for 10 years on the condition that she does not violate any state or federal laws, holds a job and participates in regular counselling sessions, Haslam’s commutation says.
Brown released a statement at the time saying she wants to help other women and girls suffering sexual abuse and exploitation.
She wrote: “I thank Governor and First Lady Haslam for their vote of confidence in me and with the Lord’s help I will make them as well as the rest of my supporters proud."
She had claimed self-defence but was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 51 years.
Police said she shot Allen in the back of the head at close range after bringing a loaded gun to rob him.
How was Kim Kardashian involved in her release?
Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, the late Le Bron James and other celebrities have supported Brown.
Kim Kardashian visited President Donald Trump in the White House to discuss clemency and prison reform.
Brown was the subject of the 2011 documentary Me Facing Life: Cyntoia's Story.
Kardashian asked her lawyer Shawn Holley to help the clemency appeal and he offered support, resources and called the District Attorney's Office on Brown’s behalf, according to TMZ.
How to watch Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown story
Cyntoia's story has been made into a documentary called Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown story and it's now available to watch on Netflix.
The documentary traces Brown’s life – from running away from home, to suffering sexual and physical abuse, to shooting Allen.
The film also outlines her redemption.
The doc was directed and produced by Daniel H. Birman, who previously released another film about Brown in 2011, Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story.
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