The legal team of Cyntoia Brown, the woman who was arrested as a teen for first-degree murder, filed an appeal in January, asking that the court overturn her conviction. The state of Tennessee has responded with a denial.
The Tennessean reports that Brown, now 29, did not receive an unconstitutional sentence when she was tried and convicted as a 16-year-old in the murder of a real estate agent, Johnny Mitchell Allen, who had solicited her for sex.
“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 is currently serving a life-sentence for the 2004 murder yet has had plenty of celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Rihanna come to her defense. Brown was a child prostitute when the murder was committed. Her lawyers then argued that the woman had been picked up by Allen for the purpose of sex.
“He lay down with her but didn’t fall asleep. He kept getting up and standing over her. She became more panicked, convinced something was going to happen to her,” a report stated about the crime. “Finally, she shrugged off his advances and, as he rolled over, she took a gun from her purse and shot him once in the head.” Prosecutors claimed that Brown shot and killed Allen in order to steal from him.