Cyntoia Brown Granted Clemency 15 Years After Murder Conviction

Cyntoia Brown

Cyntoia Brown

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam granted a full commutation to Cyntoia Brown, who was serving a life sentence for a crime that was committed when she was 16 years old. Her lawyers say she was a sex-trafficking victim afraid for her life.

Brown noted that she was forced into prostitution and that she was scared for her life when she shot the 43-year-old man while they were both in bed.

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

The life sentence meant she would not have been eligible for parole until she was in her 60s, which Haslam said was "too harsh, especially in light of the extraordinary steps Ms". I am so proud of the dedication, commitment and courage of Attorney Charles Bone and Ms.

The ACLU said on Twitter that it is thrilled that Brown is finally receving justice, but "Cyntoia never should have been sentenced so harshly to begin with, and we can't lose sight of the fact tht she is still receiving an excesssive 10 years probation". She was sentenced to life in 2006. Her case went all the way to the Tennessee Supreme Court, which ruled last month that she couldn't become eligible for parole until she served at least 50 years in prison. A lawsuit was filed on her behalf arguing that mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles was unconstitutional. The court rejected that contention, leading the Women's March to announce nationwide protests for Brown and other sex-trafficking victims on January 19.

Brown thanked Haslam in a statement through her lawyers for his "act of mercy in giving me a second chance".

Cyntoia Brown's case came to the attention of the public in a 2011 documentary about her case.

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Brown was arrested in 2004 after she thought Allen was reaching for a gun when he tried to solicit her for sex.

Also tucked inside the calls for support is a 2017 letter from the lead detective who has urged the Republican governor against granting clemency to Brown.

'To each of you responsible for this child's sentence I hope to God you don't have children, because this could be your daughter being punished for punishing already!

"I have one course left to finish my Bachelor's degree, which I will complete in May 2019", Brown said. "I made him money...he wasn't going to let me go nowhere".

As governor, Haslam has the power to grant executive clemency to those people serving within the Tennessee Department of Corrections for a criminal conviction.

"My hope is to help other young girls avoid ending up where I have been", she added.

"And so I ask you, what really, functionally, is the difference between life without parole-which is no longer constitutional as the United States Supreme Court declared for minors, for any crime-and 'You might get parole after 51 years, ' for a victim of sex trafficking?" he asked.

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