FOX 17 News Investigates: What's next for Cyntoia Brown?
NASHVILLE, Tenn.--The name Cyntoia Brown has become synonymous with world outrage, and Brown herself can't even believe it.
"It's mind blowing...because this whole time I knew there were people who stood by me," Brown said.
What would possibly make nearly a half million people sign a petition for someone they don't even know?
What would make celebrities like Rihanna and LeBron James join the public fight?
What would cause attorneys to work months on a case for free?
Cyntoia Brown would. Fox 17 News is continuing what we started with the deepest dive yet into the progress of the ever growing 'Free Cyntoia Brown movement.'
Her name has become synonymous with world outrage with the largest reaction Fox 17 News has ever seen to one of its news reports. With a call for release so big and wide, Cyntoia Brown herself can’t even believe it adding, “It's mind blowing because this whole time I knew there were people who stood by me.”
483 thousand strong... Just on a grassroots online petition...
That doesn't count all the celebrities using the hashtag free Cyntoia Brown on social media--- all for the then 16 year old who killed the 43 year old Nashville realtor who bought her for sex....
Now locked away for life.
Gabby Canone organized Brown’s clemency petition. She’s one of the key players working to set Cyntoia free. A soft spoken, super smart, Lipscomb University student. That’s where the two met.
Canone explains, “It was definitely divine connection. I began to grow compassionate and empathetic toward her because she has a really hard story and it began to break my heart.”
Cyntoia Brown adds, “I'm actually going to college. Lipscomb professors come out and we get to obtain an associates degree.”
Brown’s clemency petition is now in the hands of the Parole Board and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam who says, “It's become an item of huge interest.”
The clemency request includes Cyntoia's documentary by filmmaker Dan Birman who’s documented her story from the beginning. The petition also includes that grass roots MoveOn.org petition. It’s the voice of a growing public army. Canone's in charge of too.
People from 190 countries and islands have signed it. MoveOn.org spokesperson Pulin Modi says it’s among the top most popular petitions that has ever existed on the petition platform adding, “To be very clear, I think Fox 17 is the reason Cyntoia's case is in the international spotlight right now.”
For context, 483 thousand, the number of signatures, is 10 thousand more than the entire population of Atlanta. Canone says, “As the numbers kept increasing, it became blatantly obvious that this was actually a big deal. There are people from all over the world who want to support Cyntoia. It was incredible. It was incredible.”
Browns asks, “How am I supposed to spend the rest of my life in prison? It's difficult. When you think about certain things.”
Certain things like being abandoned by her birth parents, suffering fetal alcohol disorder, being sexually abused, then drugged, beaten and sold by a pimp... Until she says she became paranoid one night. That’s when she shot the last man to buy her for sex.
Brown adds, “I've questioned out loud, ‘How am I going to do this? How am I supposed to do this time?’ It gets kind of hard, but I'll be okay.”