A statement released by the office of the Governor of Tennessee on Monday has revealed that Cyntoia Denise Brown, a young lady served a life sentence for murder has been granted clemency. Brown was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing a man who she was sold to for sex when she was only 16-years old.
According to the office of the governor, she will be released to parole supervision in August 2019, 15 years after her life sentence was issued. Governor Bill Haslam referred to Brown’s situation as tragic highly sensitive. He went further to state that it had been observed that she had taken steps to improve her life and it will be unfair to keep her incarcerated for at least 51 years before she is eligible for parole.
Several high profile individuals have in the recent past called for clemency on behalf of Brown. Some of them include Kim Kardashian, Ashley Judd, some Tennessee lawmakers, and even a US congressman. Brown was found guilty of the murder of Johnny Mitchell Allan, a man who she claimed had taken her to his house after soliciting her for sex. This occurred in 2004 and the jury had argued that she committed the crime with the intent of robbery rather than self-defense since she shot the deceased while he was asleep and took off with money, guns, and his truck.
I encourage and plead with my Tennessee Governor @BillHaslam to grant #Clemency4Cyntoia. Cyntoia Brown was a victim of child sex trafficking, raped and forced into paid sexual exploitation to stay alive. She deserves our empathy and your mercy.
— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) December 17, 2018
She was tried as an adult and sentenced to life imprisonment over a decade ago but the case has recently sparked outrage in the country. In 2017 Kanye West and Rihanna had voiced their support for Brown using social media. After her sentence amendments were made to Tennessee juvenile sentencing guidelines. Stacy Case went ahead to say that if Brown was tried today, the result would be different as she would be seen as a victim rather than an offender.
Brown’s advocates have testified to the efforts she has made in transforming herself even though she has spent all of her adult days behind bars. Presently working on her college degree, Brown is mentoring youth and planning a nonprofit that will focus on helping young people facing several challenges in the society.
In a phone interview, Brown said that she understood that being in prison did not spell the end of her life and so she worked to make herself a better person so she could have a great impact on the lives of other youth.