Here's why celebrities are calling for Cyntoia Brown's release from prison
Celebrities and activists are calling for Cyntoia Brown's release from prison.
The sex trafficking victim was jailed in 2004 at the age of 16 after she shot and killed a man who had tried to pay her for sex.
She was tried in Tennessee as an adult, receiving a life sentence for murder and prostitution.
Brown maintains that she shot the man in self defence. She also detailed the emotionally and physically abusive relationship she experienced with a man named ' Cut Throat', who she claims forced her into sex work when she was a teenager.
The case has gained traction recently due to Brown's supporters and activists calling on Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to offer Brown clemency - an act of mercy provided by an executive member of government in the form of early intervention.
Haslam has said he is considering the case and will issue a response early next year.
Brown's case garnered worldwide attention last year when Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, and Cara Delevigne began sharing social media posts calling for her release.
At the time, Rihanna commented that something was "horribly wrong" with a justice system that "enables these rapists."
Kim said that she had contacted her attorneys "to see what could be done to fix this."
Before this, a documentary by Dan Birman called Me Facing Life: Cyntoia's Story captured the attention of millions across the US, shedding light on the case that had been largely unheard of until then.
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Birman said that he wanted to show audiences everything that was wrong with the child criminal justice system.
“I wanted an audience to understand not only what happened to Cyntoia Brown as a kid but also see what she was up against in a system," he said.
Released in 2011, Me Facing Life: Cyntoia's Story caused the law in Tennessee to be changed to ensure that people under the age of 18 could not be charged for sex work.
Rather, they are tried as child sex trafficking victims.
The #FreeCyntoiaBrown hashtag has featured prominently on Twitter and Instagram over the past few days.