Cyntoia Brown Says New Netflix Documentary ‘From Murder To Mercy’ Is ‘Unauthorized’

Isheka N. Harrison
Written by Isheka N. Harrison
Netflix is set to premiere “From Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story” on April 29, but Brown said she “had nothing to do with” the film. In this May 23, 2018, file pool photo, Cyntoia Brown, a woman serving a life sentence for killing a man when she was a 16-year-old girl, smiles at family members during her clemency hearing at Tennessee Prison for Women in Nashville, Tenn. Brown, championed by celebrities as a symbol of unfair sentencing, was released early Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, from the Tennessee Prison for Women, where she had been serving a life sentence for killing a man who had picked her up for sex at 16. (Lacy Atkins/The Tennessean via AP, Pool, File)

Those who think they know all the details of Cyntoia Brown Long’s story may learn something new from an upcoming Netflix documentary. The streaming giant is set to premiere “From Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story” on April 29, reported Refinery29. But Brown said she “had nothing to do with” the film.

“While I was still incarcerated, a producer who has old footage of me made a deal with Netflix for an UNAUTHORIZED documentary, set to be released soon. My husband and I were as surprised as everyone else when we first heard the news because we did not participate in any way,” Brown Long wrote in an Instagram post.

She reiterated her lack of involvement and added she was telling her own story her way, but added she hoped the documentary would shed more light on the broken justice system.

“However, I am currently in the process of sharing my story, in the right way, in full detail, and in a way that depicts and respects the woman I am today,” Brown Long continued. “While I pray that this film highlights things wrong in our justice system, I had nothing to do with this documentary.”

Some viewers said they would refrain from watching the documentary because Netflix didn’t consult with Brown Long. Others are looking forward to its release, while others still believe Brown is guilty of cold-blooded murder.

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In 2004, when she was just 16, Brown shot and killed real estate agent Johnny Allen, 43, after he sexually propositioned her. She cited self defense, stating she was afraid for her life, but prosecutors accused Brown Long of actually being motivated by greed. They said she desired to rob Allen and his murder was premeditated.

The fact that she was a minor who’d been a sex-trafficking victim had no bearing on Brown’s case. Tried as an adult, Brown was ultimately charged with first-degree murder, aggravated robbery and sentenced to two life sentences. She wouldn’t have been eligible for parole until in her late 60s.

After news of her story started gaining notoriety, celebrity supporters like Rihanna, T.I., Kim Kardashian and others began asking for “JusticeForCyntoia on social media. After serving 15 years in prison, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslem granted Brown Long clemency in Jan. 2019.

The documentary – which director Daniel H. Birman said was 16 years in the making – follows Brown Long on her journey. During her appeals process, Brown Long said she was forced into prostitution by a drug dealer she was in an abusive relationship with.

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Now an advocate for criminal justice reform, Brown penned “Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System,” which was released last year and makes speaking appearances across the country. She has also acknowledged her remorse for taking Allen’s life.

“When I was 16 I did a horrible thing. I do pray that you show me mercy and you give me a second chance,” Brown is shown saying in the trailer.