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Cyntoia Brown finally released after 15 years

Cruel, unusual punishments are unacceptable

Art+by+Maggie+Klaers+and+Lucy+zumBrunnen
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Cyntoia Brown finally released after 15 years

Art by Maggie Klaers and Lucy zumBrunnen

Art by Maggie Klaers and Lucy zumBrunnen

Art by Maggie Klaers and Lucy zumBrunnen

Art by Maggie Klaers and Lucy zumBrunnen

Samiya Mohamed

At the age of 16, Cyntoia Brown was convicted for murdering 43 year old Johnny Allen. Originally, she was sentenced to at least 51 years in prison and would only have been eligible for parole at the age of 69. This all changed when Brown was granted clemency by Gov. Bill Haslam Jan. 7 after serving 15 years in prison, according to The Tennessean.

Being just 16 years old when she committed the crime, Brown was sentenced to an overly harsh punishment. Above all, she was a minor who had been sold for sex and tortured, according to NPR. Most of all, Brown was tried as an adult for first-degree murder, which should’ve been ruled as self-defense, according to The Tennessean.

The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution states no “cruel or unusual punishment” shall be inflicted. The court decided on an incredibly harsh punishment for an undeserving Brown. She received an odd discipline for her situation.

Even worse, it took the government 15 years to realize that Brown wasn’t at fault all these years. It’s not normal for someone in Brown’s position to get clemency and it wasn’t right for the government to delay her case. Brown’s case could have been dealt with sooner if they made her one of their main priorities.

The court treated Brown’s case without acknowledging the teen’s background. This inhumane sentence Brown received needs to be illegal. Brown herself was a victim in this case and law officials need to review minors’ cases before concluding a case without all the details. Cruel and unusual punishments like Brown’s should be fixed for future cases similar to Brown’s.

The amount of time it took for Brown to be freed is unacceptable. The background of the case was not thoroughly reviewed and her punishment was overly harsh. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty and in this occasion, Brown wasn’t given a fair trial. Law officials need to analyze more cases similar to Brown’s so this type of problem doesn’t affect young girls. Just because it happened in Tennessee doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen in St. Louis Park.

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About the Writer
Samiya Mohamed, Photographer

Hi! I’m Samiya Mohamed and this is my first year in echo. I lived in MN all my life and I don’t like it here. If I were to ever live anywhere I would...

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Cyntoia Brown finally released after 15 years