Last week we reported the plight of Cyntoia Brown, a woman who has spent 13 years in prison after killing a man to whom she was prostituted when she was just 16 years old.
Brown was tried as an adult for murder in Tennessee and sentenced to life in prison without parole for at least 51 years.
Now a petition on the website MoveOn has been started in an attempt to secure Brown’s release from prison, with the petition so far receiving over 337,000 signatures.
The petition is looking to gain as many signatures as possible so that it can be presented to the Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam for consideration for clemency.
“Since 2004, Cyntoia has been working diligently to make amends for her crime. Today, Cyntoia is an incredibly intelligent, compassionate, and resilient young woman,” reads the petition page.
“As she has progressed in her rehabilitation, Cyntoia has served as a beacon of light in the prison environment,” it adds. “She has helped other inmates earn their GEDs, worked in various meaningful jobs, and encouraged those around her to be their best selves.”
By the age of 16, Brown had already been repeatedly sex trafficked by a pimp. facing sustained physical, verbal and sexual abuse.
She was eventually solicited by the 43-year-old Nashville realtor Johnny Allen before being convicted of Allen’s murder in 2004.
Brown’s life was made the subject of a documentary, Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story, by the filmmaker Daniel Birman in 2011.
Brown’s plight has now attracted plenty of attention from celebrities such as Rihanna, Cara Delevingne and Kim Kardashian West, all of whom have demanded justice for the now 29-year-old.
The system has failed. It’s heart breaking to see a young girl sex trafficked then when she has the courage to fight back is jailed for life! We have to do better & do what’s right. I’ve called my attorneys yesterday to see what can be done to fix this. #FreeCyntoiaBrown pic.twitter.com/73y26mLp7u
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) November 21, 2017
Brown recently graduated with a Associates of Arts degree with a GPA of 4.0 from Lipscomb University in Tennessee and it is reported that she will soon earn her Bachelor’s degree from the university.
“She has used her experience to be able to make things better, juvenile justice, human trafficking and safety and security for youth and so I think what she has to offer is invaluable,” said Kathryn Sinback, Davidson Co. Juvenile Court Administrator.
While this petition appears to gaining traction, many people are looking for even further justice, asking for Brown to be given an official pardon by the U.S. President Donald Trump.
Whether or not the White House will realistically consider this we will just have to wait and see, but Brown’s story shows no signs of slowing down.