Cyntoia Brown-Long Has Been Thriving Since Her Prison Release

"Freedom has never felt better."

Cyntoia Brown-Long Has Been Thriving Since Her Prison Release
Cyntoia Brown-Long Has Been Thriving Since Her Prison Release
  • Homicide to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story revisits Cyntoia Brown-Long’s journey from imprisonment to freedom.
  • In 2004, 16-year-old Brown-Long was sentenced to life in a Tennessee Prison for killing Johnny Allen, a person who had allegedly solicited her for intercourse. She walked free in August 2019.
  • Now, Brown-Long is flourishing–however she’s reportedly not pleased with the brand new Netflix documentary, based on deleted Tweets.

Homicide to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story, a brand new documentary out on Netflix, revisits the case of Cyntoia Brown-Long. On the age of 16, Brown-Long (née Brown) was tried as an grownup and sentenced to life in Prison for killing 43-year-0ld actual property agent Johnny Allen, a person she claims paid $150 to have intercourse along with her. Brown-Long, now married, has by no means denied her crime, however alleges she acted out of self-defense, based on NPR.

Following large outpouring of celebrity-driven assist and authorized support, Brown-Long was granted clemency by the former governor of Tennessee in 2019, 15 years after she was first sentenced. Now, Brown is fortunately married and works as an advocate for criminal justice reform. She can be on parole for the following 10 years.

Each laws and social mores have modified since Brown-Long was sentenced in 2004, and labeled a teenage prostitute. Today, in Tennessee, anybody 18 or youthful can’t be charged with prostitution. A Tennessee law handed in 2012 defines any minor who performs a business intercourse act as a sufferer of intercourse trafficking.

“If Cyntoia Brown were arrested at present, she wouldn’t be charged as a prostitute. She can be considered a younger lady who’s involved in intercourse trafficking,” Dan Birman, who directed the Netflix documentary, in addition to an early PBS model about Brown-Long, stated while chatting with NPR in 2019.

From Homicide to Mercy tracks this shift in notion by means of the lens of Brown-Long’s case. The one downside with Netflix’s documentary? Brown-Long says she was not involved in its making.

“I had nothing to do with this documentary. I didn’t take part in any means,” Brown-Long reportedly wrote in what seems to be a now-deleted Twitter assertion on April 15, per The Root. (OprahMag.com has reached out to the movie’s creators for remark.)

Again in 2011, Brown-Long was featured in Birman’s PBS documentary Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story. Birman also occurs to be the director of Homicide to Mercy. According to The Every day Beast, Birman included interviews with Brown-Long carried out for the 2011 documentary alongside new insights from Brown-Long’s authorized group and members of the family (A consultant for Netflix instructed The Every day Beast that Brown-Long can be selling her e-book along with Netflix’s documentary “in an unique interview” and her tweet was subsequently deleted.)

Although she supposedly wasn’t involved, Brown-Long hopes the movie aligns along with her personal mission: Advocating for victims of the criminal justice system like herself. “I pray that this movie highlights issues fallacious in our justice system,” Brown-Long reportedly wrote in the since deleted Twitter put up.

She met her husband, Jamie Long, while in Prison.

Brown-Long married Jamie Long, a 34-year-old musician higher generally known as J. Long, while she was incarcerated. Long is a former member of the R&B group Fairly Ricky, and now works as a Christian rapper. Per an interview on The Breakfast Membership radio present, Long also owns a healthcare gear company.

On the identical radio broadcast, the couple recounted their uncommon meet-cute. Years in the past, Long watched the PBS documentary Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story, and recalled, “I felt God inform me, cease and write her,” Long stated. “I instructed her mainly, God instructed me to let you know you are getting out of Prison.”

To Long’s shock, he obtained a reply. The couple exchanged letters, and met in-person 4 months later. “After I went in to see her, I knew proper then she can be my spouse,” Long stated. His instincts were proper: They obtained engaged two years later. “I purchased my spouse’s wedding ring while she was nonetheless in Prison, and we did not know if she was getting out,” he continued.

Brown gave her perspective in an interview with Essence: “He got here alongside at a degree when all my appeals were denied, and I didn’t have hope. We prayed by means of it, and due to him I began engaged on my relationship with God. And that’s when my federal enchantment opened again up, which is extraordinary.”

Today, the couple is thrilled to not be separated by Prison bars. “I actually really feel like I stay with my finest pal,” Brown-Long instructed CBS News.

The couple lives in Nashville.

After getting out of Prison, Brown-Long moved in along with her husband to his two-story Nashville, TN dwelling. “He had a home prepared. I had a closet full of garments. Thank God he’d obtained good style, ‘trigger I do not,” Brown-Long joked while talking on The Breakfast Membership radio present.

Brown-Long wrote a e-book while she was in Prison—nevertheless it does not deal with the crime.

Brown-Long’s memoir, Free Cyntoia: My Seek for Redemption in the American Prison System, was revealed in October 2019, about two months after she walked free.

Written while she was in Prison, Brown-Long’s memoir spans from her childhood to clemency. According to a review in USA Today, the memoir devotes solely two sentences to the precise crime Brown-Long dedicated.

As an alternative, because the writer’s official description demonstrates, the memoir focuses on Brown-Long’s non secular journey and rehabilitation.

“In these pages, written over the fifteen years she was incarcerated, Cyntoia shares the troublesome adolescence that result in that fateful night time and the way she discovered the power to not solely survive, however thrive, in Prison. A coming-of-age memoir set in opposition to the surprising backdrop of a life behind bars, Free Cyntoia takes you on a non secular journey as Cyntoia struggles to beat a legacy of household habit and a lifetime of feeling ostracized and deserted by society,” the outline reads.

The memoir was nominated for the NAACP Picture Awards in the class of Excellent Biography/Autobiography.

She’s a vocal advocate for criminal justice reform.

Brown-Long has been busy in the eight months since her Release. She’s gone on a e-book tour, and spoken in school campuses, just like the College of Pennsylvania, Tufts, and the College of Virginia. Additional, based on her interview with Essence, Brown-Long and her husband are in the technique of beginning a non-profit.

All of that is in service of her purpose: Educating others, particularly younger ladies, by means of her story. She instructed NBC News that she did not consider herself as a sufferer of sexual trafficking till she was in her 20s. As an alternative, she considered her pimp, Garion McGlothen (higher recognized by his avenue identify, “Kutthroat”), as her boyfriend.

“You meet these younger girls who’re in these conditions. They usually do not view themselves as being pimped. They do not view their trafficker as their trafficker. They suppose, ‘That is my boyfriend.’ And that is precisely what I believed…I believed, ‘That is my boyfriend. I am in a relationship. I am his Bonnie, he is my Clyde,’” Brown-Long instructed NBC News.

while chatting with NBC, Brown-Long stated there have been many different ladies like her—and she or he’s talking out for them, too. Not too long ago, Brown-Long advocated on behalf of Chrystul Kizer, a lady who fatally shot her abuser at 17, and is now Facing life in Prison. “Right here was one more state of affairs the place there was a younger lady caught up with some unlucky circumstances, who reacted out of trauma,” Brown-Long instructed Buzzfeed’s AM2DM. “And the justice system wasn’t essentially attempting to listen to that, attempting to see that.”

law school is on her to-do list.

while in Prison, Brown-Long obtained a level from Lipscomb College, a personal Christian school in Nashville. She instructed Essence that law school is perhaps subsequent.

“I’m dedicated to the identical battle that obtained me free. I undoubtedly suppose that there’s a necessity for reform, not simply in Prison, however in sentencing and the best way justice is handed out in our nation. I’m dedicated to preventing for al the opposite people who find themselves identical to me,” Brown-Long stated.

She’s active on Instagram.

Brown-Long posts updates about her life post-prison on the Instagram account @cyntoiabrownofficial. According to her Instagram, she’s discovered how to trip a horse.

And has taken a go-kart for a spin.

Brown-Long is having fun with her new regular. “Freedom has by no means felt higher,” she posted in a video on her Instagram.

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