We’re never too far away from Netflix‘s latest true crime documentary – and the next big release on offer from the streaming giant focuses on the case of Cyntoia Brown, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2004 at the age of just 16.
The feature length documentary charts the history of the high-profile case and the campaign to grant her clemency – up to her eventual release from prison last year, following almost a decade of legal challenges.
Here’s everything you need to know about the series…
When is Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown released on Netflix?
The documentary arrives on the platform on Wednesday 29th April 2020.
Who is Cyntoia Brown? Is it a true story?
Brown was at the centre of a controversial trial in Nashville in 2004, during which she faced murder charges for the killing of 43-year-old Johnny Allen.
Despite being just 16 at the time of the case, Brown faced an adult trial – after Metro Juvenile Court Judge Betty Adams Green argued that it was too much of a risk to the community to keep her in the Juvenile Court System.
Allen, who was a real estate agent, had allegedly paid Brown $150 for sex prior to the killing – and Brown never denied shooting him, but claimed that it had been an act of self-defence, rather than motivated by an intent to rob him as the prosecution had suggested.
Brown was found guilty of first-degree murder, felony murder and aggravated robbery, and was sentenced to life imprisonment, however her case entered the public spotlight again some years later after a campaign to offer her clemency went viral and won support from several celebrities.
After several witnesses – including her former prosecutor Preston Shipp and some prison employees – testified on her behalf at a public hearing, Brown was eventually released from prison, with Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam stating: “Imposing a life sentence on a juvenile that would require her to serve at least 51 years before even being eligible for parole consideration is too harsh.”
What happens in Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story?
The programme focuses on the original trial and re-asses the case by exploring Brown’s traumatic childhood and by taking an in-depth look at the evidence, highlighting perceived injustices relating to the 2004 verdict.
It also follows the campaign to grant Brown clemency – a campaign which won a huge amount of public support and earned endorsements from a slew of high-profile celebrities including Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and Lana Del Rey.
According to Netflix’s official synopsis, “the film shows the complexity of a child who was the product of three generations of violence against women in her biological family.”
It continues: “And how in 2019, after nearly 10 years of legal challenges, Governor Bill Haslam granted her request for clemency…. following a slow shift in the state for legislative change in juvenile sentencing laws and having seen evidence of her maturity, education, and good behavior as a prisoner.”
Is there a trailer?
There is indeed – and you can watch it below…
Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story lands on Netflix on Friday 29th April. If you’re looking for more to watch check out our TV guide.