[01/13/2019] Cyntoia Brown Granted Clemency

Cyntoia Brown, a woman who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for killing a man who bought her for sex, has been granted clemency and will be released on parole supervision after having served 15 years in prison. Her case caught the attention of high-profile advocates and brought to light the issues concerning juvenile sentencing guidelines.

Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for Cyntoia Brown Granted Clemency






  • Writing: Why is Cyntoia Brown’s case significant?
  • Debate: Are juvenile sentencing guidelines too harsh?
  • Poll: Is Tennessee Governor, Bill Haslam, justified in making Cyntoia Brown wait until August to be released?
  • Short Answer: What are some of the issues that were highlighted in Cyntoia Brown’s case?


Current Events Quiz

  1. Cyntoia Brown was sentenced to life in prison for

a. murder.

b. involuntary manslaughter.

c. aggravated assault.

d. assault with a deadly weapon.

  1. According to the initial sentence, Cyntoia Brown was supposed to have served at least ______ years before being released on parole.

a. 15

b. 25

c. 51

d. 67

  1. Cyntoia Brown’s case has highlighted all of the following issues in the criminal justice system EXCEPT for:

a. the necessity for strict gun laws

b. the harsh juvenile sentencing guidelines

c. the treatment and prosecution of sex trafficking victims

d. the impact that prison education programs have on inmates

  1. Prosecutors in Cyntoia’s case claimed that she was not acting in self-defense. (T/F)
  2. Cyntoia received both a G.E.D. and an associates degree while in prison. (T/F).
  3. Cyntoia’s sentence was commuted by President Donald Trump. (T/F).


Feature Image: istockphoto.com/springtime78

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