[New]: Cyntoia Brown, In Prison For Murder, Is Granted Clemency By Tenn. Governor

Cyntoia Brown, who was sentenced to a life jail time period for killing a person when she was 16, says she is going to assist others keep away from the state of affairs she discovered herself in. She’s seen right here relations throughout a clemency listening to final Could. cover caption

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Cyntoia Brown, who was sentenced to a life jail time period for killing a person when she was 16, says she is going to assist others keep away from the state of affairs she discovered herself in. She’s seen right here relations throughout a clemency listening to final Could.

Tennessee Gov. Invoice Haslam has granted govt clemency to Cyntoia Brown, who has been serving a of life sentence for a homicide that was dedicated when she was 16 years previous. Brown’s trigger was championed by various celebrities, together with Rihanna.

Brown’s supporters have mentioned she acted in self-defense when she killed a person who had paid to have intercourse together with her, describing her as a sufferer of human trafficking who was preyed upon when she was homeless. In addition they say Brown has remade herself whereas in jail — and on Monday, Haslam agreed.

Calling it “a tragic and complicated case,” Haslam mentioned that Brown “dedicated, by her personal admission, a horrific crime on the age of 16.”

“But, imposing a life sentence on a juvenile that may require her to serve no less than 51 years earlier than even being eligible for parole consideration is just too harsh,” Haslam mentioned, “particularly in gentle of the extraordinary steps Ms. Brown has taken to rebuild her life. Transformation must be accompanied by hope. So, I’m commuting Ms. Brown’s sentence, topic to sure situations.”

These situations embrace Brown being launched on parole — and a promise that she will not violate any state or federal legal guidelines. She will be able to go away jail on Aug. 7 of this 12 months, and Haslam mentioned she’ll want to finish “re-entry programming” to assist her reintegrate again into the neighborhood.

Brown, 30, is at present incarcerated on the Tennessee Jail for Ladies. She has mentioned a pimp named “Kut Throat” compelled her into prostitution, and that is what finally led her to homicide Nashville actual property agent Johnny Allen, who was 43 when he died in 2004. Allen had taken Brown to his home after choosing her up at a restaurant.

Brown has already served 15 years in jail; she would not have been eligible for potential parole till she had served no less than 36 extra years, as member station Nashville Public Radio stories. Now, if all goes as deliberate, she’ll be on parole for the subsequent 10 years as an alternative in jail.

In a assertion launched by her attorneys, Brown mentioned, “Thanks, Governor Haslam, to your act of mercy in giving me a second likelihood. I’ll do every part I can to justify your religion in me.”

She additionally thanked “these on the Tennessee Division of Corrections who noticed one thing in me value salvaging,” naming in addition to educators from Lipscomb College, whom she credited with “opening up an entire new world for me.”

“I’ve one course left to complete my Bachelor’s diploma, which I’ll full in Could 2019,” Brown mentioned.

Thanking her supporters for prayer and encouragement, Brown mentioned, “Thanks to my household for being a spine these previous 14 years.”

“With God’s assist, I’m dedicated to stay the remainder of my life serving to others, particularly younger individuals,” she added. “My hope is to assist different younger women keep away from ending up the place I’ve been.”

The high-profile consideration on Brown has additionally put renewed focus “on how the felony justice system treats little one victims of intercourse trafficking who commit crimes,” as NPR’s Samantha Raphelson has reported. “Every year, greater than 1,000 kids are arrested for prostitution within the U.S., in response to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.”

Advocates have known as for instances resembling Brown’s to be reconsidered below new “secure harbor” legal guidelines that present extra protections for minors who have been the victims of trafficking. As he set Brown’s freedom in movement, Tennessee’s governor acknowledged that extra reforms are wanted.

“Whereas we have now spent a substantial period of time learning and implementing sentencing and felony justice reform in our state, there’s extra work to be achieved,” Haslam mentioned as he introduced his clemency resolution. “I’m hopeful severe consideration of extra reforms will proceed, particularly with respect to the sentencing of juveniles.”

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