Tennessee’s law has been changed since the initial arrest of Cyntoia Brown. It now states that children solicited for sex trade are not considered prostitutes. Instead, they’re victims. The law change was long overdue as Brown was arrested in 2004, but last month, the state of Tennessee decided that it wasn’t unfair to imprison the then 16-year-old.
The court stated that her motion to kill her abuser was incited by a will to steal from him. However, Brown said that she ended up killing him because she thought he was reaching for a gun to kill her. Still, she was denied parole.
Now the prosecutor who stood behind her incarceration is speaking out, attesting to that idea.
Jeff Burks, Brown’s prosecutor on the 2004 case told FOX17, “I think she did what she wanted to do and unfortunately on this night, what she wanted to do was kill him and take his stuff.”
However, Representative Jeremy Faison doesn’t believe that Brown would’ve gotten life in prison if the crime were committed today.
“Her 20 something boyfriend turned her for tricks to get drugs, pushed her out and said basically she’s going to be homeless if she doesn’t bring home some money,” he told Fox17. “She’s high. All kinds of travesty things in her life and a 40 something-year-old man picks her up and takes her home, makes her spend the night with him. She gets scared… ends up taking his life and she got life in prison. Something is wrong with that.”
When asked how he might respond to the case now, Burks chose not to be involved, even hypothetically.
“I don’t live in the state anymore, so I don’t really have an issue to weigh in there. I’m vocal about what the facts of the case were, not necessarily what the punishment should be. I think it’s a very good question what sentence a person this young should serve, there are reasonable arguments on either side of that,” he said.
Earlier this year, Brown’s appeal was denied by the state. The 29-year-old still has a surplus of support from private and public figures alike.