Cyntoia Brown Has Been Granted Full Clemency
"Transformation should be accompanied by hope. So, I am commuting Ms. Brown’s sentence, subject to certain conditions.”
Tennesee Governor Bill Haslam has granted Cyntoia Brown full clemency.
According to the Tennessean, Brown will be released on Wed., Aug. 7, 2019 on time served and with parole of 10 years. The early release comes nearly one month after news broke that the 30-year-old would be required to serve 51 years in prison before being eligible for parole.
“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.
After release, Brown will be required to participate in court-mandated counseling and community service, including working with at-risk youth, as well as getting a job. Upon hearing about her imminent release, a grateful Brown thanked Haslam for his "acts fo mercy" in giving her a second chance.
Read her full statement below.
Thank you, Governor Haslam, for your act of mercy in giving me a second chance. I will do everything I can to justify your faith in me.
I want to thank those at the Tennessee Department of Corrections who saw something in me worth salvaging, especially Ms. Connie Seabrooks for allowing me to participate in the Lipscomb LIFE Program. It changed my life. I am also grateful to those at the Tennessee Department of Corrections who will work with me over the next several months to help me in the transition from prison to the free world.
Thank you to Dr. Richard Goode and Dr. Kate Watkins and all of you at Lipscomb University for opening up a whole new world for me. I have one course left to finish my Bachelor’s degree, which I will complete in May 2019.
I am thankful for all the support, prayers, and encouragement I have received. We truly serve a God of second chances and new beginnings. The Lord has held my hand this whole time and I would have never made it without Him. Let today be a testament to His Saving Grace.
Thank you to my family for being a backbone these past 14 years.
I am thankful to my lawyers and their staffs, and all the others who, for the last decade have freely given of their time and expertise to help me get to this day.
I love all of you and will be forever grateful.
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 was convicted of felony murder and aggravated robbery in 2004 when the opposing council claimed the then 16-year-old shot, killed and robbed real-estate agent Johnny Allen. A survivor of child sex-trafficking, rape, and physical and mental abuse, Brown became widely known after the 2011 documentary, Me Facing Life: The Cyntoia Brown Story.
After being sentenced to life in prison, Brown's case attracted the attention of celebrities, activists, and supporters pleading for her release.