You probably already know that the United States is home to far more imprisoned and jailed people than any other country on the face of planet Earth. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to raising awareness to the high rate of imprisonment and jailing in the United States and ultimately hoping to bring criminal justice system reform to the United States of America’s not-so-just justice system, there are currently some 2.3 million people incarcerated throughout the United States right now.
Further, even though the United States is home to less than five percent of the global population, the United States is, in fact, home to more than one-fifth of the entire planet’s incarcerated population.
Some people in the United States are given exceptionally harsh sentences, such as Cyntoia Brown, a 31-year-old who was sentenced to life in prison at the ripe age of 16. Cyntoia Brown was sentenced to prison for first-degree murder as a result of killing a customer who Cyntoia thought was about to kill her while she was working as a prostitute.
Here’s where Cyntoia was in life at the time of her conviction.
Cyntoia Brown had run away from home as a teenager. In an attempt to find a stable living situation without returning home, Brown had linked up with a pimp who offered to provide her more protection than she had on her own in exchange for providing the pimp with a portion of the proceeds she would earn as a prostitute.
A 43-year-old man named Johnny Allen had paid Brown’s pimp, who went by the name of “Cut Throat,” to have sex with Brown. The two – Allen and Brown – had shacked up in a motel room in Nashville, where Brown was living, in order for Brown to have sex with Allen. According to Cyntoia, she felt that Johnny Allen was reaching for a pistol while the two were laying in bed. Before Allen could pull the pistol out – it turns out that he actually was not reaching for a pistol, Brown had pulled her own pistol out of her purse and shot Allen dead out of self-defense.
In the past year, celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Rihanna had lobbied President Trump and other politicians to have Cyntoia Brown granted clemency. Fortunately for Brown, earlier today, on Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, she was officially released from prison after serving 15 years in a Tennessee prison. Brown will be required to maintain employment, regularly see a mental health counselor, and adhere to stipulations of state parole for 10 years, per a press release from the Tennessee Department of Correction that was released today.