FREEDOM

Cyntoia Brown Granted Clemency by Tennessee Governor Haslam

Republican Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam on Monday granted clemency to Cyntoia Brown, the woman who sparked outrage after she was given a life sentence for murdering a man who she claims used her as a sex slave, The Tennessean reports. In 2006, Brown was convicted of first-degree murder for killing 43-year-old Johnny Allen while the pair were in bed together in 2004. Brown claims she had been forced into prostitution, and was fearing for her life at the time of the murder. “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 a statement. “Transformation should be accompanied by hope. So, I am commuting Ms. Brown’s sentence, subject to certain conditions.”

Brown will now be eligible for release on August 7, The Tennessean notes, and will serve 10 years of parole. Brown thanked Haslam in a statement, expressing her gratitude “for your act of mercy in giving me a second chance.” She added that “I will do everything I can to justify your faith in me.”