Cyntoia Brown granted clemency by Tennessee governor


 // Jan 7, 2019

WKRN, Twitter

Gov. Bill Haslam has listened to the battle cries of countless organizers, activists and citizens by ordering an early release for Cyntoia Brown on Monday (Jan. 7).

Brown, a Tennessee woman and sex trafficking victim, was serving a life sentence in prison for admitting to killing a man who bought her for sex when she was 16 years old.

As confirmed by the Tennessee governor's office, the governor has officially granted her clemency. According to reports, she will be released to parole supervision on Aug. 7, 2019, after serving 15 years in prison. Brown, now 30, will stay on parole for 10 years.

"This decision comes after careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case," Haslam shared in a statement. "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. Transformation should be accompanied by hope."

Brown's case captured the attention of several high-profile advocates, including a congressman, several lawmakers in Tennessee and a variety of celebrities, including Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Ashley Judd and Amy Schumer, among others.

"Thank you, Governor Haslam, for your act of mercy in giving me a second chance. I will do everything I can to justify your faith in me," Brown shared in a statement released by her attorneys. "I want to thank those at the Tennessee Department of Corrections who saw something in me worth salvaging, especially Ms. Connie Seabrooks for allowing me to participate in the Lipscomb LIFE Program. It changed my life."

"I am also grateful to those at the Tennessee Department of Corrections who will work with me over the next several months to help me in the transition from prison to the free world," she continued. "Thank you to Dr. Richard Goode and Dr. Kate Watkins and all of you at Lipscomb University for opening up a whole new world for me. I have one course left to finish my Bachelor's degree, which I will complete in May 2019."

See how people are reacting to the news of Cyntoia Brown being granted clemency in the tweets below.

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