port of harlem magazine
 
Theo Hodge, Jr. M.D.
 
Free Cyntoia Brown Movement Catches Steam
 
December 6 – December 18, 2018
 
cyntoia brown



johnny allen



Cyntonia Brown was 16 when she shot and killed 43-year-old Johnny Allen in 2004. The Tennessee Supreme Court’s December 6 ruling that Cyntoia Brown will not be eligible for parole until she serves 51 years of her life sentence has stirred up the movement to free her. Brown would then by 67-years-old.

During her trail, Brown says she was forced into prostitution. Prosecutors countered that she went to Allen’s house to rob him.  

A PBS Independent Lens documentary about her, “Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story,” aired in 2011.Her case has garnered high profile support from array of celebrities from Rihanna and Kim Kardashian West to LeBron James and Snoop Dogg.

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear her case next. Some are urging Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to commute her sentence. Haslam, however, is considering running for the Tennessee senate seat that Lamar Alexander is vacating in a conservative state that just elected Marsha Blackburn.

Meanwhile, citizens such as Port Of Harlem reader Garwyn Jones of Metro Memphis has little empathy for her. He writes on Facebook, “She robbed and killed a trick. Not the pimp, but a paying customer.” He further asks readers if their opinions would be the same if she had killed their father or brother. Helen Higginbotham of Harlem countered, “What if Brown was his daughter?”

In her message to Governor Haslam, Higginbotham wrote, “give hope and life to not only a young woman but a nation of women and girls who hope never to walk in her shoes.” Higginbotham  is urging  others to send an email to Tennessee governor Bill Haslam demanding justice via clemency or calling his office at 615-741-2001.
 
 
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