Free Cyntoia Brown
Sarah Henry, (202) 238-9088, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Washington, D.C., December 20, 2018) – The American Humanist Association (AHA) urges Tennessee Governor Bill Halsam to grant clemency to Cyntoia Brown. Cyntoia Brown’s story is tragic and emblematic of a justice system that has failed women like her at every turn.
After being trafficked as a prostitute at the young age of 16, Cyntoia Brown was sold to a 43-year-old man who picked her up in a parking lot and took her, against her will, to his home. Tried as an adult for killing her rapist, Cyntoia Brown was sentenced to life in prison with a mandatory sentence of 51 years.
America’s understanding of trafficking and sexual abuse has changed dramatically since 2004, when Cyntoia Brown was arrested. It wasn’t until 2005 that federal anti-trafficking laws even began to include protections for American victims. The laws in Tennessee have since changed – motivated in part by a documentary of Cyntoia Brown’s life story – and now prevent anyone under the age of 18 from being charged with prostitution.
Cyntoia Brown deserves freedom. She was wronged by multiple systems that were meant to protect her, including the now widely understood sexual abuse-to-prison pipeline.
In our efforts to aspire to the greater good, the AHA recognizes that systems that fail vulnerable people should be corrected. Governor Halsam has the opportunity to at least partially address the tragedies in this case.
The American Humanist Association joins the chorus of human rights advocates calling on Gov. Halsam to grant clemency to Cyntoia Brown.
The American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming worldview of humanism, which—without beliefs in gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.