GoFundMe page

Governor Considering Cyntoia Brown's Bid for Clemency

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has said he is considering the clemency request for Cyntoia Brown, a sex trafficking victim who was sentenced to life in prison for killing a man who picked her up for sex when she was a teen. The adept questioning of a member of Black Lives Matter Nashville prompted Haslam’s statement.

At a higher education event on Monday, while Haslam was delivering remarks, Justin Laing pressed him about a recent ruling. Last week, the Tennessee Supreme Court said Brown must serve at least 51 years in prison before she could be released.

“Since we’re here talking about education, I wanted to ask a question about one of your students and graduates of Lipscomb University, Cyntoia Brown,”
said Laing, who is also a higher education professional.

The audience began to applaud.

“Cyntoia Brown is currently serving year 14 of a life sentence for the murder of Johnny Allen, a 43-year-old who purchased her for sex at the age of 16. Cyntoia was acting in self-defense as Allen was attempting to assault her. As a victim of sex trafficking and assault, this is an unjust sentence in the first place.

“According to Tennessee laws, a teenager cannot be considered a prostitute. Cyntoia was 16, therefore she was a minor, and at any point, any sexual encounter cannot be considered consensual. Tennessee also ruled that all minors engaged in sex work are considered victims of trafficking. However, she has not been treated as a victim of trafficking and not given the justice that she deserves.”

Laing added that Brown having to serve 51 years before parole is a “human rights issue.”

“And so I ask you, what really, functionally, is the difference between life without parole — which is no longer constitutional as the United States Supreme Court declared for minors, for any crime — and ‘you might get parole after 51 years’ for a victim of sex trafficking” he said.

The moderator attempted to interrupt Laing, but he continued to question the governor.

“And so I ask why has Cyntoia Brown been incarcerated for 14 years for enduring harm And so I say Gov. Haslam, you have the power and ability to grant clemency to Cyntoia Brown, and so I ask when will you grant her clemency, I ask what will be your legacy as you leave office, and how will you answer to this human rights violation that the state of Tennessee is committing by keeping her incarcerated”

Haslam thanked Laing for his question. He said the Supreme Court ruling doesn’t “impact what we do at all.”

“We are in the middle of reviewing it,” he added. “I will say this — we’re reviewing a lot of cases, and while Cyntoia’s case has gotten a lot of publicity, I don’t think you want us to treat hers any different than a whole lot of cases that I think people want us to review to see if it’s been handled well.”

In regard to a time frame for a decision, he said, “I’m just here for six more weeks, so it will be before that.”

MoveOn.org petition has garnered almost 600,000 electronic signatures from people who support Brown’s release.

Incoming U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley said, in an Instagram post on Tuesday, that Brown’s sentencing is “unjust.”

“I will work with my colleagues in Congress to bring awareness to this issue and end the systemic criminalization of survivors worldwide.

Click here for information on how you can contact Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.

Reader Question: Sex and labor trafficking in the U.S. remains a major problem. Why do you think it isn’t being addressed effectively

Latest News

EY Named a Leader in Managed Security Services and Professional Security Services in Asia-Pacific in Two Studies by IDC

Originally posted on EY.com EY is a leader in Asia-Pacific professional security services among 17 vendors EY has been recognized by IDC as a leader in two of its studies: IDC MarketScape: Asia/Pacific Managed Security Services 2020 Vendor Assessment, and IDC MarketScape: Asia/Pacific Professional Security Services – Advisory, Assessment, and Awareness 2020…

March 2020 ADP National Employment Report®, ADP Small Business Report® and ADP National Franchise Report® to be Released on Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Originally posted on ADP.com : ADP Research Institute® will release the March findings of the ADP National Employment Report, ADP Small Business Report and ADP National Franchise Report on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 8:15 a.m. ET. Due to the important contribution that small businesses make to economic growth, ADP Research Institute issues the ADP Small Business Report independently of the ADP National Employment Report. …

Dow Commits $3 million to Aid COVID-19 Relief Efforts and Adjusts Manufacturing Processes to Produce Hand Sanitizer

Originally posted on Dow.com Dow announced a commitment of $3 million to help fund COVID-19 relief efforts with donations going towards global relief organizations, as well as non-profits in communities where Dow operates. In addition, the Company announced it has begun producing hand sanitizer at its manufacturing site in Stade, Germany, and…

EY COVID-19 Business Continuity Plan: Five Ways to Reshape

Originally posted on EY LinkedIn and  EY.com  EY Responding to COVID-19 COVID-19 is an unfolding event bringing uncertainty to every business. To help you navigate through these unprecedented times, here you’ll find the most relevant EY insights on responding to volatility and building enterprise resilience. Global companies have to be predictive…

Wells Fargo Announces Aid for Customers and Communities Impacted by COVID-19

Comprehensive response includes suspending residential foreclosure sales, fee waivers and acceleration of $175 million in donations to help the most vulnerable Originally published on newsroom.wf.com. Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) today announced additional comprehensive steps to help customers, communities and employees grappling with the impact of COVID-19. The company…