Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam Grants Clemency to Sex Trafficking Survivor Cyntoia Brown
Cyntoia Brown has been granted clemency from Tennessee governor Bill Haslam. News was announced Monday (Jan. 7) Brown would be released from jail Aug. 7, 2019, and will remain on parole supervision for the next 10 years under the conditions she does not violate state or federal laws; the now 30-year-old GED holder will be required to keep a job and participate in regular counseling sessions.
The granting comes two weeks left in Haslam governor’s term, following the out pour of requests from social activists, social media, TN citizens, including Justin Lang; the man who questioned Haslam and his office about their plans on potentially freeing Brown from her 51 years to life sentence in prison during a speech in 2018.
In a statement Haslam said,
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.
About the news Brown, 30, shared,
I am thankful for all the support, prayers, and encouragement I have received. We truly serve a God of second chances and new beginnings. The Lord has held my hand this whole time and I would have never made it without him. Let today be a testament to his saving grace.
In 2004, Brown shot and murdered Johnny Allen, 43, a man who picked up the-then-16-year-old off a Nashville highway and took her home for sex. Once in his bedroom Brown thought the real estate agent was reaching for his gun, which in turn, influenced her to shoot him in the back of the head. Brown was convicted of murder in 2006.
14 years later, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled Brown would be serving at least 51 years before being up for parole for the murder of Allen in ’04.
Brown will have served 15 years in prison.