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Woman convicted of murder as teen wins clemency

by Kent Covington
Posted 1/08/19, 10:33 am

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday granted clemency to a woman sentenced to life in prison for murder when she was 16 years old. Authorities will release Cyntoia Brown, now 30, on parole in August. Brown said she was a human trafficking victim in 2004 when she shot a man who picked her up at a fast food restaurant in Nashville to have sex with her. Law enforcement officials opposed clemency, but vocal supporters, including a number of celebrities, argued Brown acted in self-defense and should not face life imprisonment.

“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.” Haslam, a Republican, added that Brown has taken “extraordinary steps” to rebuild her life. She will remain on parole for 10 years under the condition she does not violate any state or federal laws, holds a job, and participates in regular counseling. While in prison, Brown earned her GED diploma, and is now one course away from finishing a bachelor’s degree.

“We truly serve a God of second chances and new beginnings,” Brown said in a statement released Monday by her legal team. “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.”

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Kent Covington

Kent is a reporter and news anchor for WORLD Radio. He spent nearly two decades in Christian and news/talk radio before joining WORLD in 2012. He resides in Atlanta, Ga. Follor him on Twitter @kentcovington.

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    Posted: Tue, 01/08/2019 03:00 pm

    It's sad when you go to jail for defending yourself against human sex traffickers. 

    God go with you Cyntoia Brown.

  • 1064 nm
    Posted: Tue, 01/08/2019 08:20 pm

    Why is she going to a clemency meeting in cuffs?

  • OldMike
    Posted: Thu, 01/10/2019 12:15 am

    Also curious about why she won’t be released until August. 

    But an even bigger question:  if she was a trafficking victim, and presumably that means she was being forced to work as a prostitute, just how was she able to have a gun to shoot the “customer?”

    And, would you not think she would have shot the person forcing her into prostitution?  

    Not to say she hasn’t accomplished a great deal towards changing her life, and not to say she hasn’t been punished enough...

    But some of these cases—felons who have “completely changed lives, who deserve release and a fresh start”—often rely on “facts” changed or omitted by the liberals who are advocating release. 

    I have a liberal brother-in-law, an attorney, who has worked pro-bono to get murderers’ convictions overturned.  You should hear the verbal gymnastics he goes through to justify releasing confessed drug pushers and murderers back into society.