Gov. Haslam grants executive clemency to Cyntoia Brown
NASHVILLE — Gov. Bill Haslam has granted executive clemency to a woman serving a life sentence.
The governor granted clemency Monday to Cyntoia Brown by commuting her sentence of life imprisonment, according to a release from the governor’s office. Brown will be released to parole supervision on August 7, 2019, after serving 15 years in prison.
“This decision comes after careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case,” Gov. Haslam said in the release. “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.”
Brown’s parole conditions will require that she not violate any state or federal laws, and she 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, the release says.
Parole supervision will continue until August 7, 2029, at which point Brown’s sentence will expire. She will complete re-entry programming prior to her release from custody in August in order to facilitate a successful transition to the community, according to the release.
Brown was convicted in 2006 by a Davidson County jury of first-degree murder and aggravated robbery for the 2004 murder of 43-year-old Nashville real estate agent Johnny Allen, which occurred when then-16-year-old Brown was picked up by Allen and taken to his home, according to the release. She received a life sentence with the possibility of parole after serving a minimum of 51 years in prison, which means she would not have been eligible for parole consideration until 2055, at the earliest, without the governor’s action.
Kim Kardashian West, Rihanna and other celebrities have supported Brown as she fought her life sentence for killing a man who had picked her up for sex, the Associated Press has reported. Brown’s lawyers say she was a sex-trafficking victim afraid for her life.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.