08 January 2019 - Cyntoia Brown Granted Clemency After Serving 15 Years for Killing Man Who Bought Her for Sex
Cyntoia Brown, sentenced to life for murder as teen, is granted clemency
Samantha Schmidt (The Washington Post, 07/01/2019)
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam granted full clemency to Cyntoia Brown, an alleged sex trafficking victim serving a life sentence for the 2004 murder of a man who picked her up and took her to his home.
After serving 15 years in prison, Brown will be released Aug. 7 and will remain on supervised parole for 10 years, Haslam (R) announced Monday, calling it a “tragic and complex case.”
Brown, whose case drew national attention and support from celebrities including Rihanna and Kim Kardashian, was 16 years old when she committed the crime in what she described as an act of self-defense.
Cyntoia Brown Is Granted Clemency After 15 Years in Prison
Christine Hauser (The New York Times, 07/01/2019)
Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee granted clemency on Monday to Cyntoia Brown, commuting her life sentence for killing a man who had picked her up for sex when she was a teenage trafficking victim.
Ms. Brown, 30, will be released to supervised parole on Aug. 7, said Mr. Haslam, who will leave office later this month. She will have served 15 years in prison.
“Cyntoia Brown committed, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16,” Mr. Haslam, a Republican, said. “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.”
Cyntoia Brown, Sentenced to Life in Prison as a Juvenile Victim of Sex Trafficking, Will Finally Go Free
Bridget Read (Vogue, 07/01/2019)
Cyntoia Brown, a Tennessee woman who has been incarcerated since the age of 16, has been granted clemency after spending 15 years in prison for killing a man who had bought her for sex in 2004. Activists and human rights organizers rejoiced at the decision, having fought a long battle to free Brown, who was serving a life sentence and was tried as an adult despite being convicted as a minor, and one who had been sex trafficked; juvenile sentencing laws in Tennessee have since been amended. In a statement, Brown reacted to the news: “With God’s help,” Brown said, “I am committed to live the rest of my life helping others, especially young people. My hope is to help other young girls avoid ending up where I have been.”
Brown’s case has attracted attention from celebrities including Rihanna, Ashley Judd, Amy Schumer, and Kim Kardashian West (who last year advocated for the release of Alice Johnson, another woman serving life in prison) for the harsh sentence Brown received both as a teenager and as a victim of sex trafficking. Prosecutors said that Brown, now 30, shot Johnny Mitchell Allen in the head while he was sleeping, and stole money and guns from him; her defense argued that Brown was worried for her life. Brown’s case has helped spark a debate about reviewing life-without-parole sentences imposed on teens in Tennessee and about treating juvenile sex-trafficking victims as just that—victims.
Cyntoia Brown: sex trafficking victim in prison for murder granted full clemency
Associated Press (The Guardian, 07/01/2019)
The Tennessee governor, Bill Haslam, has granted clemency to a woman serving a life sentence for murder who says she was a victim of sex trafficking and who has been supported by celebrities including Rihanna and Kim Kardashian West.
The Republican governor, whose term ends in two weeks’ time, chose to show mercy to the now 30-year-old Cyntoia Brown by releasing her on 7 August this year. Brown was sentenced to life in prison for killing a man when she was 16.
She will remain on parole supervision for 10 years on the condition she does not violate any state or federal laws, holds a job and participates in regular counseling sessions.