Lacy Atkins /The Tennessean via AP


cyntoia brown granted clemency

January 7, 2019
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After serving 15 years in prison for killing a man who bought her for sex, Cyntoia Brown is being granted clemency by Tennessee governor Bill Haslam and praise God. “This decision comes after careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case,” Haslam said.

Back in 2005, at age 16, Brown was charged for the murder of a man named Johnny Mitchell Allen who had solicited her for sex. By Brown’s own admission, the killing was an act of self-defense. Brown shot the man in the head and stole his money, fearing the possibility of returning to her pimp moneyless. A juvenile court decided to charge Brown as an adult for the killing, which would have required a minimum of 51 years served behind bars before the possibility of parole. It’s been 15 years since Brown has been held behind bars with a coalition of Black and brown activists advocating on her behalf for just as long.

Still, the road to true freedom is a good bit away. Once she is released this August, Brown will be required to be on parole for 10 more years.