Tennessee governor grants clemency to woman convicted as teen

Tennessee governor grants clemency to woman convicted as teen

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.

Sentenced to life in prison for the 2004 murder, her case gained national attention past year after it began circulating under the hashtag #FreeCyntoiaBrown, lifted further by celebrity supporters.

Brown was 16 when she killed a 43-year-old stranger who picked her up and brought her to his home.

Tennessee governor Bill Haslam speaks at the funeral service for George Jones at The Grand Ole Opry on May 2, 2013, in Nashville.

For his part, Haslam said that the decision "comes after careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case".

Kim Kardashian, who helped reignite interest in Brown's case through her social media platforms in 2017, thanked Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday for ordering Brown's early release.

The 30-year-old Brown will remain on parole for 10 years after her release August 7.

When Bone asked Brown about not being let out immediately she said she thought she would be in prison until she was 67.

He added: "Transformation should be accompanied by hope".

Ms Brown's incarceration was the topic of a 2011 documentary titled Me Facing Life: Cyntoia's Story.

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", Brown's statement read. She will be eligible for release on August 7, and is set for 10 years of parole, according to The Tennessean.

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The news has been welcomed by those who backed the campaign, including Kim Kardashian West.

Prosecutors at that hearing said Brown killed Allan to rob him, not to defend herself.

In a story January 7 about the clemency of Cyntoia Brown, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Brown was picked up at a drive-in theatre.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against life-without-parole sentences for juveniles.

In court, the Tennessee teenager claimed that Brown had showed her guns before sex, and she believed he was reaching underneath his bed for a gun so she shot him with a.40 caliber handgun she had in her bag.

Since being jailed Brown has earned a high school diploma and is on track to complete her college education this year.

The decision to grant Brown clemency, which lawmakers and advocates have been pushing for, is one of the final acts of the outgoing Republican governor.

"Cyntoia's case allows us to raise this issue that there is serious sex trafficking trade in Tennessee that needs to be addressed and it's impacting poor black women especially", Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer said.

Haslam, whose term ends on January 19, has previously granted five commutations, 15 pardons and one exoneration.

According to the Governor, Brown was granted clemency due to an "extraordinary growth and rehabilitation".

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