Thursday, 19 September, 2019

Clemency granted to Cyntoia Brown by Tennessee governor

ASSOCIATED PRESS ASSOCIATED PRESS
Guillermo Jimenez | 08 January, 2019, 08:52

Cyntonia is an alleged childhood sex trafficking victim and is now in prison, serving a life-sentence for the murder of a man who solicited sex from her when she was only 16 years old.

She was given a life sentence back in 2004 for shooting and killing 43-year-old Nashville estate agent Johnny Allen.

She was sentenced to serve life in prison.

Kim's work has now helped Cyntoia Brown who has been granted clemency and is set to be released on parole supervision on August 7th.

Haslam is now reviewing Brown's clemency request, but he has not said whether he'll make a decision before leaving office mid-January. "Brown has taken to rebuild her life", he said. "Transformation should be accompanied by hope", Haslam added. I am so proud of the dedication, commitment and courage of Attorney Charles Bone and Ms. She will be released on 7 August under the condition of a 10-year parole.

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Brown thanked Haslam for giving her a second chance, the Tennessean newspaper reported, citing a statement from her lawyers. "My hope is to help other young girls avoid ending up where I have been".

She will be eligible for release on 7 August, after serving 15 years behind bars.

Haslam's office issued this statement about his decision.

Brown's supporters and defense lawyers argued that the 51-year prison term was too extreme, given the circumstances and the fact she was a 16-year-old.

Brown's case gained national attention from rights activists and celebrities, including Rihanna and Kim Kardashian West.

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However, her defence argued she was scared of returning to her violent pimp - nicknamed Kutthroat - without her payment.

Brown's case was featured in a 2011 documentary, and was the subject of a social media campaign involving multiple celebrities who advocated for clemency, saying she should have been treated as a traumatized child victim of sex trafficking. At the time, prosecutors said Brown killed Allen to rob him. I want to thank everyone at the Tennessee Department of Corrections who saw something in me worth salvaging, especially Miss Connie Seabrook for allowing me to participate in the Lipscomb Life Program.

Brown was convicted of first-degree murder in 2006. Brown was 16 at the time of the murder.

"Thank you Governor Haslam", Kardashian West tweeted soon after news of the clemency decision broke, which was followed by similar high-profile responses from former Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, actresses Alyssa Milano and Viola Davis. The Republican says he is continuing to review and consider additional clemency requests.

Since she's been incarcerated, she has earned a GED and an associate degree with a 4.0 grade-point average, and she's one course away from earning a bachelor's degree.

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Executive clemency in Tennessee is "an act of mercy or leniency providing relief from certain outcome of a criminal conviction".

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