Teen-Life Sentence-Clemency

File- This May 23, 2018, file photo shows Cyntoia Brown, entering her clemency hearing at Tennessee Prison for Women in Nashville, Tenn. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, granted executive clemency to Brown, serving a life sentence for murder who says she was a victim of sex trafficking. The outgoing Republican governor, whose term ends in just two weeks, chose to show mercy to the now 30-year-old Brown by releasing her Aug. 7.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A woman who says she was a 16-year-old sex trafficking victim when she killed a man in 2004 was granted clemency Monday by Tennessee’s governor and will be released from prison later this year.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam granted clemency to Cyntoia Brown, who had been serving a life sentence but who will be released on parole on Aug. 7 — 15 years from the date she was first arrested.

“Cyntoia Brown committed, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16. 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,” Haslam said in his statement.

Brown, 30, will remain on parole supervision for 10 years on the condition she does not violate any state or federal laws, holds a job, and participates in regular counseling sessions.

Brown’s case has attracted national attention from criminal justice reform advocates, and the attention has amped up as Haslam’s second and final term nears an end. He leaves office Jan. 19.

While law enforcement officials had opposed clemency, arguing Brown was not justified in killing 43-year-old Johnny Allen, celebrities like Kim Kardashian West and singer Rihanna spoke out for Brown.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.