Tennessee governor grants Cyntoia Brown clemency in 2004 murder

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam ordered the release of Cyntoia Brown, 30, after almost 15 years behind bars for the 2004 murder of a man who solicited her for sex as a girl has been granted clemency.

She was tried as an adult and convicted in 2006 for murdering a Nashville estate agent when she was 16. Prosecutors said it was robbery. Brown said she was a child sex-trafficking victim who fired in self-defence.

Her case drew support from celebrities like singer Rihanna, reality TV personality Kim Kardashian West, comedian Amy Schumer and NBA star LeBron James.

Brown’s incarceration was the subject of the 2011 documentary Me Facing Life:

Cyntoia’s Story. She told the film-makers that she was picked up in Nashville by a 43-year-old estate agent, Johnny Allen, who agreed to pay her $150 to have sex and drove her to his home.

Brown said that once at Allen’s home, he groped her roughly and then rolled over to reach the side of the bed. Brown said she feared he was going to get a gun so she shot him.

Governor Haslam said he had ordered that Brown be released to parole supervision on 7 August this year.

“Cyntoia Brown committed, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16,” the statement said.

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.

“I am thankful for all the support, prayers and encouragement I have received,” she said in a statement.

“We truly serve a God of second chances and new beginnings The Lord has held my hand this whole time and I would never have made it without Him.”

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