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Cyntoia Brown is Granted Clemency After Serving 15 Years in Prison

After serving 15 years in prison for murder, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has granted clemencyto Cyntoia Brown.

Brown, 30, will be released to parole supervision on August 7 after serving 15 years in prison, Gov. Bill Haslam’s office said in a statement. “This decision comes after careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case,” Haslam said. “Cyntoia Brown committed, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16. 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.” Brown’s case drew the attention of several high-profile advocates including a US congressman, several Tennessee lawmakers and a number of A-List celebrities. Comedian Amy Schumer, reality star Kim Kardashian West and actress Ashley Judd were among those who called for Brown’s clemency.

Cyntoia will remain on supervised parole until it expires on August 7, 2029.

During that time, she cannot violate any state or federal laws and will be subject to a release plan approved by the Tennessee Department of Correction and special supervision conditions, including employment, education, counseling, and community engagement requirements.

Governor Bill Haslam said:

This decision comes after careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case.

Cyntoia Brown committed, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16. 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.


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