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Mar
6
2020

House passes Human Sex Trafficking Bill inspired by Cyntoia Brown

The house passed a Human Trafficking bill, House Bill 165, which allows human trafficking victims forced to engage in criminal activity to claim self-defense in court testimony.

The human trafficking bill was inspired by Cyntoia Brown.

Cynthia Brown was sentenced to 51 years in prison for the murder of her boyfriend who sex-trafficked her, but she was later granted clemency after defenders said that she was abused and pushed to make those decisions.

State Representative London Lamar is sponsoring the bill.

He told FOX13 that the bill is not a pass to get out of jail, but it grants victims like Cynthia Brown of human sex trafficking the opportunity to take their defense to the court.

“There were a lot of things that weren’t in place that could’ve added protection for her. I am just thankful that her case shines light on what I feel like are some holes in the criminal justice system regarding victims being able to assert their status as a victim and all the things as that go in to being," Lamar said.

Rachel Haaga with Restore Corps, a non-profit working to end human sex trafficking said that this particular bill can be used as a victim’s affirmative defense.

“In the reality of human trafficking. So often a victim can identify their own victimization. Utilizing this affirmative defense legislation if something were to happen and he or she needs to use this as an affirmative defense, inherent in it and recognizing acknowledging her victimization or his victimization," Haaga said, “I think in terms of no matter what, even Cyntoia Brown has even openly spoke that she grieves the loss of the life she took it doesn’t alleviate the grieve of loss of life but it acknowledge the victimization that lead to that being the only resource or recourse”.

See the full story at Fox 13 Memphis.

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