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Cyntoia Brown Has Been Granted Clemency

Cyntoia Brown Has Been Granted Clemency And Will Be Released In 2019

By: Eboni Walker

Cyntoia Denise Brown has been granted clemency after serving 15 years in federal prison.

Brown was given life in prison when she killed a man who bought her for sex when she was 16-years-old.

Tennessee’s governor office announced the news on Monday.

“Brown, 30, will be released to parole supervision on August 7 after serving 15 years in prison,” Gov. Bill Haslam’s office said in a statement.

123rf | © Tennessee Department of Corrections

“This decision comes after careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case. 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,” Haslam said.
In a statement released by her attorney’s concerning her clemency, Brown thanked everyone who played a role in her being released from prison.

“Thank you, Governor Haslam, for your act of mercy in giving me a second chance. I will do everything I can to justify your faith in me.

I want to thank those at the Tennessee Department of Corrections who saw something in me worth salvaging, especially Ms. Connie Seabrooks for allowing me to participate in the Lipscomb LIFE Program. It changed my life. I am also grateful to those at the Tennessee Department of Corrections who will work with me over the next several months to help me in the transition from prison to the free world.

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.

Thank you to my family for being a backbone these past 14 years.

I am thankful to my lawyers and their staffs, and all the others who, for the last decade have freely given of their time and expertise to help me get to this day.

I love all of you and will be forever grateful.

With God’s help, I am committed to live the rest of my life helping others, especially young people.” 

Brown killed 43-year-old Johnny Mitchell Allen in 2004 after he’d forced her into sex trafficking.

According to CNN, Allen had picked Brown up at a fast food restaurant and taken her back to his home where he forced her into sex.

Prosecutors during the trial said Brown shot Allen in the head while he was asleep, stole his money and guns and left the home in his truck. Prosecutors claimed that the murder was not done in an act of self-defense, but robbery.

Brown argued that she was scared for her life and took his money so she would not have to go back home empty-handed from her pimp, “Kut Throat.”

Despite her testimony, she was found guilty and given a life sentencing.
More than 10 years had passed since her initial trial. But when information of her harsh sentencing was noticed by music sensation Rihanna, she brought light to the situation in 2017.
Now, well-known celebrities, such as Jada Pinkett-Smith, Kim Kardashian, and Meek Mill, are now celebrating the news of her clemency on social media.
According to her statement released, Brown has only one more course to complete before she receives her Bachelor’s degree and she plans on furthering herself more once she’s released.

Haslam said he will be looking into cases similar to Brown’s in an effort to better the justice system.

“While we have spent a considerable amount of time studying and implementing sentencing and criminal justice reform in our state, there is more work to be done,” Haslam said. “I am hopeful serious consideration of additional reforms will continue, especially with respect to the sentencing of juveniles.”

By: Eboni Walker | Instagram: EboniMWA | Twitter: EboniWalker

Source: NPR