Cyntoia Brown granted clemency by Tennessee governor

Cyntoia Brown on Monday was granted clemency by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R), according to The Tennessean.

Brown, who said she was forced into sex trafficking as a teenager, was sentenced to life in prison for killing a man when she was 16 years old.

She will be eligible for release from prison in August on time served and will be on parole for 10 years.

{mosads}“Cyntoia Brown committed, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16,” Haslam said in a statement. “Yet, 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, especially in light of the extraordinary steps Ms. Brown has taken to rebuild her life.”

Brown admitted to killing 43-year-old Johnny Mitchell Allan after repeatedly denying his advances. She said she shot and killed him after she believed he was reaching for a gun. Forensic evidence suggested that she shot Allan in the head while he was sleeping.

She was tried as an adult, found guilty and sentenced to life in prison in 2006.

In December, the Tennessee Supreme Court denied her appeal and said she must serve at least 51 years before becoming eligible for release.

Haslam’s decision comes as one of his last acts in office. He will exit his role as governor later this month, with Gov.-elect Bill Lee (R) set to take over the role on Jan. 19.

Brown thanked Haslam for his “act of mercy” in a statement sent out by her lawyers.

“With God’s help, I am committed to live the rest of my life helping others, especially young people. My hope is to help other young girls avoid ending up where I have been,” the statement read.

Brown’s case had gained national attention, with celebrities and criminal justice reform advocates calling for her pardon.

Hollywood stars such as Rihanna and Kim Kardashian West took to social media to voice their displeasure with Brown’s sentence.

As part of Brown’s pardon, she will be required to attend regular counseling sessions, get a job and perform at least 50 hours of community service, including work with at-risk youth.

During her time in prison, Brown completed her GED and received a college degree. 

Updated at 12:56 p.m.

Tags Clemency Cyntoia Brown Sentence Tennessee
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