State replies to appeal by Tennessee teen with life sentence

February 15, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Attorneys for the state of Tennessee say it wasn’t unconstitutional to imprison a woman for life without parole after she killed a man who solicited her as a teenage prostitute.

A legal response filed Wednesday in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says a state court’s rejection of Cyntoia Brown’s appeal didn’t contradict U.S. Supreme Court precedent about cruel and unusual punishment.

Brown, 29, has been in prison since 2004, when the then-16-year-old was convicted of killing the 43-year-old man. Brown’s advocates say she was a sex trafficking victim fearing for her life and wronged by the legal system. Prosecutors say Brown killed the man to rob him.

She cannot be paroled until she’s at least 67

Celebrities including Rihanna and Kim Kardashian West have called for her release.

Update hourly