'Justice Has Finally Been Served': Cyntoia Brown Granted Clemency
A Tennessee woman serving a life sentence for murder of a man she said solicited her for sex as a girl has been granted clemency.
Cyntoia Brown, 30, was tried as an adult and convicted in 2006 for murdering Nashville estate agent Johnny Allen when she was 16.
Prosecutors said it was a robbery gone wrong, while Brown said she was a child sex-trafficking victim who fired in self-defence.
Brown will remain on parole for 10 years after being granted clemency by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.
"I am thankful to my lawyers and their staffs, and all the others who, for the last decade have freely given of their time and expertise to help me get to this day," Brown said in a statement.
"With God's help, I am committed to live the rest of my life helping others, especially young people. My hope is to help other young girls avoid ending up where I have been."
Brown's case was the subject of the 2011 documentary Me Facing Life: Cyntoia Brown's Story, in which she told filmmakers that Allen, 43, agreed to pay $150 to have sex with her.
However, she said once she reached Allen's home, he became violent and aggressive, and fearing for her life, she shot him.
Haslma said his decision came 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," 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, especially in light of the extraordinary steps Ms Brown has taken to rebuild her life.
"Transformation should be accompanied by hope."
Former Democratic representative and 2018 gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams paid tribute to the activists who worked to secure Brown's release.
"Justice has finally been served," Abrams tweeted.
"This victory belongs to Cyntoia Brown and to the Tennessee human trafficking activists, especially black women, who refused to concede injustice and instead organised to create change."
Brown will be released on August 7, 2019.
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