In recent years people have all rallied around Cyntoia Brown, the young woman who was sentenced to life imprisonment for the shooting death of 43-year-old Johnny Mitchell Allan in 2004. Brown was just 16 when she killed Allan and said she feared he would kill her after he took her to his house for sex.
Even though Brown had advocates such as Rihanna and Kim Kardashian in her corner, it seems as if justice for Brown is still a long way off after the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that she must serve at least 51 years behind bars before she would be eligible to be released, according to CNN.
The news network reports:
On Thursday the court said defendants like Brown, who are convicted of first-degree murder committed after July 1, 1995 and sentenced to life imprisonment, can’t become eligible for release from prison before serving more than five decades.
The ruling comes after Brown filed a lawsuit, claiming that her sentence was unconstitutional under a 2012 opinion by the US Supreme Court which ruled that mandatory life sentences without the chance of parole for juvenile offenders goes against the Constitution.
However, the Tennessee Supreme Court argued that “under state law, a life sentence is a determinate sentence of 60 years. However, the sixty-year sentence can be reduced by up to 15 percent, or 9 years, by earning various sentence credits.”
Brown’s motion was denied before, with a district court emphasizing that she wasn’t sentenced to life in prison without the chance of becoming eligible for parole, it was merely “just” a life sentence.
Still, hopefully there is some chance that Brown could receive some form of clemency as the case is currently pending judgement by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.