I stood there, gazing at the city across the bay. Somewhere in that concrete jungle was the prison where I spent fifteen years before I was granted clemency and released on parole. It felt good to be standing there in the open, the sun hitting my face and listening to the lapping water. It felt good not being behind bars.
When I turned sixteen, I never thought I’d wind up in prison. My life changed when I killed Mick, the man who forced me to prostitute myself. I was a victim of sex trafficking but I was treated like a criminal and sentenced to life, a sentence which the governor now considers to be too harsh. Thanks to the celebrities who came to my defense, I’m standing here now.
I didn’t want to kill Mick but I feared for my life. He would have killed me that night if I hadn’t defended myself. I don’t hate him. It wouldn’t do me any good. I want to focus on rebuilding my life. While in prison, I earned my Associate’s Degree. I know that opportunity came from God. I thought my life was over but, it’s not.
This story was inspired by the true story of Cyntoia Brown who was arrested and charged with homicide of Johnny Allen who offered to have paid sex with her. She was accused of murder and robbery and sentenced to life.