BY WALTER CANADY III
This past week the story of a woman named Cyntoia Brown went viral across social media. Brown, a 16-year-old girl forced into a life of prostitution, was sentenced to life in prison by the state of Tenn. in 2004 after killing a 43-year old child predator that purchased her. She will not eligible for parole until she is 69.
According to CNN it is unclear as to why the story came back into the spotlight but “Brown’s history and trial appeared to pick up serious steam when it was shared by Rihanna on Instagram.”
Stars like Lebron James and Kim Kardashian have also posted on this issue. There has not been news of any significant changes to her situation since the exposure on social media, outside Kim Kardashian saying she would get her own lawyers to see what they could do. Hearing of this story as a teenager it definitely puts you into a different perspective. To be told that you would be in prison for the rest of your life at the age of 16 is more than bizarre. Especially in a situation where you have been physically and mentally abused.
The real question is how many more stories are like this one? Are there more stories where someone has had to fight themselves out of a situation like this and still be sent to prison for it? Every system has its flaws, but the justice system due to social media has presented itself to be unjust in so many situations. In a case like this my question to the judge and or jury would be what else could I do to set myself free? In situations like Cyntoia Brown, there was no such thing as just running away without at least some type of repercussion.
You would think after hearing a story like this you would want to set the girl free and get her help, instead our justice system decided to put this 16-year-old girl away for a crime that many of us would argue her abuser deserved. For everyone that would disagree I would say put yourself in her position. Even for those of us that do agree, imagine you or one of your friends here at Truman had to go through that, because keep in mind the girl had to be only a sophomore or junior in high school. Would you believe that justice had been served if you were walking in her shoes? Hopefully the push for her justice continues to stay relevant because so far she has been in jail for almost 14 years. Next year she will be around 30, and though it’s been very long I definitely would say better late than never.