Sex Trafficking Victim Cyntoia Brown Granted Clemency

Cyntoia Brown, the sex trafficking victim who was sentenced to jail at the age of 16, has been granted clemency by Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee. Brown now 30, was sentenced to life imprisonment for fatally shooting a man in 2004 who had hired her as a prostitute while she was a teenage sex trafficking victim.   According to a statement from the office of Governor Haslam, Ms Brown would be released to supervised parole on August 7, 2019, after serving 15 years in prison. “Cyntoia Brown committed, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16,” Mr Haslam said in the 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” he said. Brown received massive national support from celebrities, including Rihanna, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Kim Kardashian West, as well as lawmakers and rights activists. Brown’s mother who gave her up for adoption was a drug user. Brown at the age of 16 ran away from her adoptive family and started to live in a motel with a pimp who raped her and forced her to become a prostitute. Johnny M. Allen, 43, a real estate broker, in 2004, picked Ms. Brownup at a restaurant in Nashville and drove her to his home. This was after Brown had agreed to engage in sexual activity for $150, court documents say.  Brown in her statement said she thought he was reaching for a gun to kill her. She, however, later shot him while he was sleeping with a handgun from her purse, took money and two guns, and fled, documents say. Brown was tried as an adult, of first-degree murder and aggravated robbery and sentenced to life in prison and would not have been eligible for parole consideration until 2055.Photo Credit: Getty

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