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 Gov. Bill Haslam.
Cyntoia Brown was placed on adoption by her crack-addicted mom. when she was 16_years old she ran away from her foster mother and started living with her pimp Garion McGlothen, who has forced her into sex trafficking, she was also the subject of his abuse and was raped several times by him.
Brown was sentenced to life in prison after she admitted to fatally shooting a man in 2004 when she was just 16 years old. She said she shot Johnny Allen, a 43-year-old real estate agent after he picked her up and took her back to his house. She said she thought she was in danger at the time, as she believed he was grabbing a weapon.
Prosecutors argued Brown killed Allen in order to rob him.
Brown was tried as an adult in 2006 and convicted of first-degree murder. She is slated to remain in prison for at least 51 years in prison.
After careful consideration of the case, Republican Governor Haslam, who is set to leave office on Jan .19, gave Cyntoia the news she’s been waiting to hear for nearly two decades.
"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."
In a statement released by her attorneys, Brown thanked Governor Haslam and her many supporters, some of whom were celebrities who brought national attention to her case.
"Thank you, Governor Haslam, for your act of mercy in giving me a second chance," Brown said. "I will do everything I can to justify your faith in me."
Brown received her associate's degree from Lipscomb University in 2015, and, according to Smith, has been working toward her Bachelor's degree while in prison. She's also collaborating with Tennessee's Juvenile Justice System to help counsel young people at risk, and her supporters say she's been a model inmate during her incarceration.