Let’s imagine you were a young girl and was picked up by a pedophile. Now, let’s imagine that you go over to the pedophile’s house and he starts to show off his gun collection. You start to get nervous. Later you guys are lying in the bed together and he reaches over to his bed stand. You think he is reaching for his gun that he was showing off. He’s not going to sleep with you, he’s gonna shoot you. You quickly reach for another gun near you and shoot him. He falls down cold. Your mind races. You just grab his wallet, take his guns, and drive off as fast you can in his truck.
Now let’s hear another story. A youth pastor, named Johnny Allen, is driving around town trying to pick up a prostitute. He finds a young girl that catches his eyes. He stops his truck next to her and haggles the price down to $150. They go back to his place and chat and eat lunch. He shows his gun collection. The two move into his bedroom. When he turns to reach for something in his nightstand he gets shot by the girl he picked up. She robs him of his money, guns, and his truck. It’s like she was planning to kill him right from the beginning. She just drives off.
Now the first story is what Cyntoia Brown’s lawyer said happened on August 6th, 2004. Self-defense by a confused, threatened, underaged girl.
The second story is what the prosecutors were saying about Cyntoia Brown and how she is a cold-blooded killer with no remorse.
One event and two different stories. Now let’s just look at what happened. No extra narratives.
A 43-year-old man picks up a 16-year-old girl to have sex with her in exchange for money. He takes her to his place and they get in the bed together. The underaged girl shoots the man and he dies. The girl leaves with his possession.
Yes, she stole some shit but he tried to fuck a child. Let’s have some perspective. Most people would think this is self-defense but she was charged with first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison.
Now, to be fair, some of Allen’s family members claimed that Allen was not trying to have an inappropriate relationship with the girl but was trying to save her from the streets because he was a youth pastor. However, even the lead prosecutor, Jeff Burks, doubted that claim and said that Allen’s intention to have sex with a minor “…was a fact from the start to finish.”
Luckily ? After 15 years of incarceration, Cyntoia asked for a clemency hearing and was granted parole. This means her sentence was reduced due to various factors that were considered during the original trial. However, this still means she was found guilty of her initial crimes and will be placed under parole for a prolonged period. Making it difficult for her to live a normal life.
People might have different opinions about this case but I can’t help to think that there was a grave miscarriage of justice here.
I honestly don’t know if the same verdict would have happened if Cyntoia was not a mixed raced girl but a blond, blue-eyed girl, the type of girl the news media would actually care about if she ever went missing.
Below is a trailer to the new Netflix documentary about the subject called “Murder to Mercy.” A detailed documentary series about the case from the start to finish.