Governor Bill Haslam Grants Cyntoia Brown Clemency, To Be Released August 2019

(Photo: Lacy Atkins / The Tennessean)

Governor Bill Haslam has granted Cyntoia Brown, a sex trafficking victim serving a life sentence in prison for killing a man when she was 16, clemency.

“Cyntoia Brown committed, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16,” said Haslam 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.  So, I am commuting Ms. Brown’s sentence, subject to certain conditions.”

According to the Tennessean, Brown will be required to participate in regular counseling sessions and to perform at least 50 hours of community service, including working with at-risk youth. She also will be required to get a job.

Brown’s case caught mainstream attraction when multiple celebrities and notable professionals began campaigning for her release. Brown being a sex trafficking victim and her age accompanied with her remarkable behavior and accomplishments since being imprisoned sparked many to ask for her sentence to be reduced or for clemency to be granted.

Per the Tennessean, in a statement released by her lawyers, Brown thanked  Haslam “for your act of mercy in giving me a second chance. I will  do everything I can to justify your faith in me.”

“With God’s help, 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 will be released to parole supervision in August 2019. She will remain on parole for 10 years.

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Bryant Lydell

Bryant Lydell is creative, personable and quick-witted Howard and USC alum. He's the founder of The Top Tea, a songwriter, screenwriter and member of the casting team for Netflix's NAACP Image Award-winning hip-hop competition series Rhythm + Flow.

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