Woman sentenced to life as a teen goes free
by Hannah Harris
Posted 8/07/19, 12:07 pm
As a 16-year-old trafficked runaway, Cyntoia Brown received a life-sentence for killing a 43-year-old man who had picked her up for sex in 2006. On Wednesday, she walked out of prison at age 31 after receiving clemency from Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam in January. She will remain on parole for 10 years.
What prompted her release? Haslam said her sentence was too harsh, “especially in light of the extraordinary steps Ms. Brown has taken to rebuild her life.” As an inmate, Brown, who was aided by a program at Lipscomb University in Nashville, earned her GED and has nearly completed her bachelor’s degree. She also wrote a book, Free Cyntoia, scheduled for release in October. “I thank Governor and First Lady Haslam for their vote of confidence in me and with the Lord’s help I will make them as well as the rest of my supporters proud,” she said in a statement Monday.
Dig deeper: Producer Dan Birman made a documentary about Brown’s life, and advocates often cite her story as an example of the need for juvenile justice reform.
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Hannah is a graduate of World Journalism Institute and a WORLD intern.