There is only one mitigation for the crime Cyntoia Brown committed – her age. And it is not much mitigation at that. In August 2004, then a 16 year old prostitute, she went willingly with Johnny Allen, a man of 43 who paid her for sex. This might be construed as statutory rape in Tennessee, although in the UK it would have been a consensual if sordid sexual encounter. Allen's real crime appears to have been that he was a lonely man who wanted female company as much as sex.
Brown murdered Allen as he lay in his bed, shooting him in the back of the head. At her trial the jury was treated to a cock and bull story about him reaching for a gun to shoot or perhaps rape her. The latter sounds particularly unconvincing in view of her already having sold him her body. The prosecution argued that Brown murdered Allen simply for the thrill of it, although she robbed him as well. The state's case was and remains persuasive.
The unremitting theme of this documentary is that this girl was a victim who did what she did solely because she was driven to it by her bad upbringing. You can almost hear the violins playing in the background. While we should never forget that Johnny Allen was the victim, it does also raise some important questions, not only do we lock up teens and throw away the key when they commit the ultimate crime? but an even more important one, namely what kind of society is it tolerates underage girls roaming around like feral cats? At the age of 16, Cyntoia Brown was not simply a prostitute but an experienced one. She should have been in school, perhaps one in which she was heavily supervised, not picking up "tricks" at the behest of an abusive pimp.
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