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Cyntoia Brown Granted Clemency

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Tenn. Governor Considering Clemency for Cyntoia Brown

Good news for Cyntoia Brown.  Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is commuting her sentence of life in prison to supervised parole.

If you’re not familiar with her story, Brown was convicted in 2006  of first-degree murder and aggravated robbery in the 2004 murder of Nashville real estate agent Johnny Allen after Brown (who was 16 at the time) was picked up by Allen and taken to his home. She claimed she was a sex trafficking victim.  Brown, now 30, was tried as an adult in 2006 and imprisoned in Tennessee following her trial and life sentence for the death of Johnny Mitchell Allen, who paid Brown for sex.  Brown’s horrifying and unreal original sentence was life in prison with the possibility of parole after serving a minimum of 51 years in prison, which means she would not have been eligible for parole until 2055 at the earliest.

Related image“This decision comes after careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case,” 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.  Transformation should be accompanied by hope.  So, I am commuting Ms. Brown’s sentence, subject to certain conditions.”

Several dozen supporters of Brown attended a rally in Nashville, pleading for her clemency from Haslam, whose terms ends Jan. 19.  The bottom line is that Cyntoia Brown will be released from prison on August 7, 2019, but will remain on supervised parole for 10 years. Her parole conditions will require that she not violate any state or federal laws and she must meet certain other conditions including employment, education, counseling and community engagement.

Congrats, Cyntoia!

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