After spending over a decade behind prison bars, Cyntoia Brown is a free woman, and is telling the world about her heartbreaking ordeal fighting the justice system in a new tell-all book.
Today, the cover of her exclusive memoir, titled, “Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System,” was unveiled. The cover features a head shot of Brown with her name in bold letters. It’s scheduled for an October 15 release by Atria Books.
According to Atria, the book will take readers on a “rollercoaster ride” as Brown reflects on her struggles and events leading up to her release.
Brown was sentenced to life in prison in 2004 after being convicted of first-degree murder for shooting and killing Johnny Mitchell Allan, a 43-year-old who solicited her for sex. Brown, who was a teenage sex trafficking victim, claimed self-defense.
At only 16 years old, Brown was a runaway, living with a pimp named “Kut Throat,” who forced her to prostitute for money.
After international outrage and nationwide support, Brown was granted clemency by Governor Bill Haslam in January. Despite the pardon, she did not walk free from the Tennessee Prison for Women until August 7.
The Tennessee Supreme Court previously ordered her to serve 51 years before being considered for parole. Under Tennessee law, the now 31-year-old would not have been eligible for parole until she was 67.
According to reports, Brown worked on her book during her 15 years in prison.
She released a statement through her legal team about her new found freedom:
“While first giving honor to God who made all of this possible, I would also like to thank my many supporters who have spoken on my behalf and prayed for me. I’m blessed to have a very supportive family and friends to support me in the days to come. I look forward to using my experiences to help other women and girls suffering abuse and exploitation.”
Upon release, Brown was picked up by her husband, Texas rapper J. Long, two bodyguards and a literary agent.
Her supporters also launched a campaign in her honor. A GoFundMe page has raised more than $30,000 over the last seven months to help Brown transition from jail to society.
Brown will remain on parole for the next 10 years, on the condition that she does not violate any state or federal laws, keeps a job and attends regular counseling sessions.
Photo: NBC News