Cyntoia Brown

Imagine being forced into prostitution as a child by a sex trafficker named Kut-Throat. That was the horrible reality of life for Cyntoia Brown, who killed a 43-year-old man who paid to have sex with her in Tennessee in 2004. Cyntoia states she was in fear for her life from the man, while the prosecution argued her motivation had been robbery. Despite only being 16, Cyntoia was tried as an adult, convicted of murder and sentenced to life-in-prison with the possibility of parole after 51 years.

Cyntoia’s case was covered in the 2011 documentary 'Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story'. In 2017, her story went viral after it was shared by celebrities including Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and Snoop Dogg. Following a wave of public support, in 2019 Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam commuted her sentence to 15 years, making her eligible for parole later that year. Cyntoia has since become an activist and speaker for prison reform.

This image was created from a photograph taken the moment she learned her sentenced was being commuted.

Newcastle Libraries · Cyntoia Brown

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