Cyntoia Brown, a woman serving a life sentence for killing a man who bought her for sex when she was 16 years old, has been granted clemency by Tennesse Gov. Bill Haslam today.
“Cyntoia Brown committed, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16,” Haslam said in a statement. “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,” he added. “So, I am commuting Ms. Brown’s sentence, subject to certain conditions.”
When 16-year-old Brown shot 43-year-old Johnny Allen, her lawyers argued that she was a sex-trafficking victim and feared for her life.
Brown, now 30, will be released to parole supervision on Aug. 7 after serving 15 years in prison.