The case of Cyntoia Brown

(42 Posts)
Heyyyho Wed 16-May-12 20:32:19

Has anyone come across this case before? She was a child who was horribly abused and ended up murdering a man who put her in an abusive situation in self defence. To say Prostitute and client feels completely out of place in this context.

There are no words at the moment that I can express after watching this that describe how heartbreaking this girl's life story and history is. But I feel her case is somehow a feminist issue. I hope it's ok to post a link to share it

www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01hrdvk/The_16YearOld_Killer_Cyntoias_Story/

scottishmummy Wed 16-May-12 20:51:43

good grief,how bloody sad
wasn't aware of this dreadful situation

SugarBatty Wed 16-May-12 20:56:11

Iv recorded this so will watch it and then come back and comment. I'd never heard of her though, was it a big story at the time it happened?

ThePathanKhansWitch Wed 16-May-12 21:00:11

Documentary on tv a few nights ago, very sad and shocking. Despite being an abused child, she was never seen as a victim, awful and the behaviour of the Police reprehensible.

Heyyyho Wed 16-May-12 21:02:47

No it wasn't a big story in the sense you would imagine. It's actually horrifying that it hasn't been more publicised. She was a child, just a child when it happened and a horribly abused one at that. She is now a strong and intelligent Woman coming to terms with what happened to her. They gave her no leniency whatsoever despite her history and highly mitigating circs of the crime. She didn't even understand what "you have the right to remain silent" meant...

I am really affected by her story and the utter injustice of it all really sad

LowFlyingBirds Wed 16-May-12 21:16:21

She was a prostitute, he was a client.

Hers is a very salient story when thinking about the reason many young girls end up in prostitution. His story is a strong example of a man who buys sex and further exploits an already exploited girl just so he can have sex.

But none of that really has any bearing on the murder, of course you can analyse how her history (and his use of her as a prostitute) led to that point but in terms of the crime it seems pretty straight forward. She may well have felt uncomfortable around him but he did nothing to justify being shot ( not that i feel any pity, he was willing to have sex with a 16yo prostitute, i doubt the world is missing much without him in it).

I wonder though, had the murder happened in florida would she have been given the same benefit of the doubt as George Zimmerman who killed Trayvon Martin? - Obviously he was eventually arrested but only after public outcry- I very much doubt it.

allthegoodnamesweretaken Wed 16-May-12 23:16:08

Nobody was asking for her to be let off Low, but there was a choice to try her as an adult or a minor, and despite her clearly being immature it was decided she should be tried as an adult. Now she is facing a life in prison for something she did in a blind panic as a child, when she could have been rehabilitated and given a second chance at life in a juvenile detention centre.

Heyyyho Wed 16-May-12 23:30:47

Yes exactly. She was tried as an adult which was incomprehensible really.
And I still find the description of her as a " prostitute" completely misleading. She was beaten and raped by her boyfriend who turfed her out onto the streets to make some money to give to him. At 16 years of age.

Krumbum Wed 16-May-12 23:35:06

52 years in prison is terrible. What will happen when she gets out? Her life will be ruined, if anything is going to make somebody reoffend then that will. I don't understand why she wasn't sent to a juvenile detention centre, she was 15 when it happened so very much a child. She spoke of people by name who raped her, why are these people not being charged. Why is it not taken into account that the man who was killed was a pedophile who was abusing her? This should have been taken as self defence/manslaughter and she should have been treated like a child which she was.

Heyyyho Thu 17-May-12 09:58:44

I know krum. The " client" was an abusive pedophile but where was that taken into account?

SugarBatty Thu 17-May-12 11:11:49

Just watched it and I'm in tears. She should have been tries as a child. She wasn't a prostitute she was a sexually abused child forced to go out and make money because of a very real threat by a pimp. I hope if this was in the uk the outcome would be different.

KRITIQ Thu 17-May-12 11:14:27

I haven't seen the programme, but have read bits about this story on line. There appear to be racial and class dimensions to the case (i.e. the man she killed was white, an estate agent, church volunteer and had some status in the community, she was mixed heritage, poor and considered to be of the "underclass.")

Having grown up in America, it's my view that there tends to be more of a "black or white" (no pun intended actually!) view of crime and punishment, which is reflected in jury decisions and in public responses to crime. There also tends to be less sympathy or understanding for factors that may have impacted on either perpetrators or victims of crime (e.g. previous abuse, neglect, mental ill-health, etc.) particularly if the person isn't "seen" to be a "good person," (e.g. not the right, class, ethnicity, morality, religion, social status, etc.)

In this case, I've read alot of comments where people have no truck with anything that may have happened in Cyntoia's past that could have contributed to her actions or the issue of being sentenced as an adult for a crime committed as a minor. They see it only as one person killing another in "cold blood" so they should receive the maximum penalty for the crime. They simply aren't interested in any "complicating factors," imho, because that wouldn't square with their very simplistic world view that everything is absolute, right or wrong with now in between.

Generally, that simplistic view tends to be sexist, racist, homophobic, classist, disablist, etc. as well of course.

Najmah Fri 18-May-12 10:01:26

V sad indeed. She has an appeal pending and has high power lawyers representing her now for free after they heard about the story. She should know whether she will be released this year!

If anyone wants to write to her, I have her contact details and I am told she appreciates every letter and writes back!

Heyyyho Fri 18-May-12 14:22:53

Can you PM me please Najmah? I would love to write to her

allthegoodnamesweretaken Fri 18-May-12 16:19:02

Me too please Najmah, I've actually been trying to find an adress for her since I watched this

LineRunner Fri 18-May-12 18:16:56

Please, I would write, too. Or send something she might need (and is allowed).

Memoo Fri 18-May-12 19:00:47

I would very much like her address too, please.

scottishmummy Fri 18-May-12 19:04:00

please pm me the address
tia

This is worth a read.

Najmah Sat 19-May-12 08:52:47

Having few issues with pc I have sent one person the address details and have asked them to forward to anyone who has asked for it. If you don't get this weekend I will pm you the address on Monday.

Have a fab weekend smile

I'd like the address, if it can be forwarded to me too, please. smile

sashh Sat 19-May-12 09:07:46
sashh Sat 19-May-12 09:13:26
allthegoodnamesweretaken Sat 19-May-12 09:35:11

I'm going to repost that petition as it's own thread to make sure more people are aware of it sashh.

OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere Sat 19-May-12 09:42:41

May I have the address please.

Najmah Sat 19-May-12 09:54:42

Ha! The irony of it @OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere

Najmah Sat 19-May-12 11:03:04

Ps: pls ignore my above post - it was meant for someone else!

FrothyOM Sat 19-May-12 11:47:16

OP I was thinking of starting a thread here too.

The documentary was heartbreaking. I agree it is inappropriate to call her a prostitute as she was not of an age to make choices about her lifestyle. She was a child who was being exploited and sexually abused. There is also evidence of severe mental health issues which should be a mitigating factor at any age.

The 'victim' was a paedophile, she didn't even look her age at the time of the trial-I thought she looked younger than sixteen. It's shocking that America is letting this girl rot in jail. I believe her race and class is the reason for the indifference of her fellow citizens too. I wonder how many others like her there are... sad

I've been thinking of writing a letter of support too.

Heyyyho Sat 19-May-12 11:56:36

Recieved the msg. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to write to this girl.

FrothyOM Sat 19-May-12 12:47:53

I should add that it is my opinion the victim was a paedophile-don't want to get mn into trouble.

Can I have the address please?

LineRunner Sat 19-May-12 18:02:47

Thanks all.

FrothyOM Sat 19-May-12 20:07:32

Thanks najmah

Lilka Sat 19-May-12 20:56:05

May I also have the address?

foxylady1985 Wed 13-Jun-12 17:07:03

would really like her address too so i can write to her. Please can u give it to me x

GothAnneGeddes Thu 14-Jun-12 03:25:53

Can I have her address too please? Thanks

LurkingAndLearningForNow Thu 14-Jun-12 03:41:35

I'd also like her address please. From what I've read online, we have similar childhoods.

splashymcsplash Tue 19-Jun-12 22:57:56

I just saw the documentary on BBC three. Najmah could you please also pm me the address?

JoshGray Wed 20-Jun-12 21:14:18

Najmah Could You Please PM Me The Address?

gemgem22 Thu 21-Jun-12 20:38:47

Can you PM me the address please Najmah x

Amelia2k12 Tue 26-Jun-12 02:26:24

I think it is discusting that this child has been treated so terribly, what I also find amazing is, that not to long ago was another documentary of a young boy in America accused of murdering a man, the police beat the boy up, and forced him to sign a confession, the young boy after a 7day trail was found not guilty on all charges, in the case of this boy, it was clear that he was innocent, but alot more surrounding his human rights and the fact that he was a child went in his favour, in the case of this boy he had alot more backing and outside community support. In the case of Cyntoia, she has no one... Not even a supportive legal team, nobody who is even substantialy trained in assessing, supporting or councelling rape/sexual abuse victims, let alone a child female victim, this child has been indecently exposed, sexually exploited and nobody ever did a thing about it, and then for the court to question her case to be delbt with as a youth or adult trial...??? The child services of the United States of America need to look into the responsability of their children, it is a Social Responsability for the welfare of children and since this responsability has failed cyntoia in so many ways, surely this is a situation to learn from and ensure doesnt happen again??? FREE CYNTOIA DENISE BROWN and give her the therapy and Safety she really needs... You cannot keep hiding abuse away that happens all to often as your gonna run out of places to hide it... You cannot make a child responsible for the abuse she suffers by an adult that knowingly abuses children and get away with it... It is the responsibility of the police and child services, adoptive parents, schools, criminal justice systems, neighbours, friends to prevent young children from being subject to such brutality...

Just a wee update FYI: have had a response from Cyntoia, but she does mention that she could do with U.S. stamps to help her keep up with correspondence. Also, she can receive books if sent via companies like Amazon, which is great. I'm going to look into whether it's possible to buy stamps online to send to her, and will post a link if so...

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