Victory: Cyntoia Brown granted clemency

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Activism can help tip the scales of justice: Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam granted clemency to Cyntoia Brown.

In 2004, Brown was a 16-year old whose adult boyfriend was trafficking her for sex. When she killed a man who had hired her for sex – because she thought he was going to shoot her – the state of Tennessee charged her with murder, tried her as an adult and sentenced her to life in prison, even though it should have considered her a victim of sex trafficking.

This victory would not have been possible without massive, sustained organizing. Black women led the charge and drew in celebrities as well as groups like the ACLU and the NAACP. More than 56,000 CREDO members signed our petition and added their voices to the fight.

Cyntoia Brown “should have never seen the inside of a cage, ” said Brittany Paschall, an organizer with Black Lives Matter Nashville, adding that the victory is “a glimpse into a world in which all Black lives matter, a world in which Black women and girls are free.”

Thank you for helping to make that world possible.