Cyntoia Brown Granted Full Clemency

In one of his last acts in office, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has granted clemency to 30-year-old Cyntoia Brown, a sex trafficking victim serving a life sentence for killing a man.

According to the Tennessean, Brown will be released on Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019 on time served with parole for 10 years. The news of her early release comes after It was reported that would be required to serve 51 years in prison after being eligible for parole. Brown has spent the last 14 years behind bars for killing Johnny Allen in August 2004. At the time, Brown was living with her boyfriend, a pimp known as “Kut Throat” who raped her and forced her into prostitution. Brown, who was 16 at the time, was tired as an adult and convicted of first-degree murder in 2006.

 “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.”

Following her release, Brown will be required to participate in court-mandated consoling sessions and community service – including working with at-risk youth. After hearing about her release, Brown thanked Haslam for giving her a second chance in a statement released by her lawyers.

See 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.

Thank you.