Sex Trafficking Victim Wins Clemency after Being in Jail for 15 Years for Killing Her Abuser

Sex Trafficking Victim Wins Clemency after Being in Jail for 15 Years for Killing Her Abuser

Cyntoia Brown gets clemency after she was sentenced to life in prison for killing the man who bought her for sex

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has decided to grant clemency to Cyntoia Denise Brown, a woman arrested when she was just 16 years old for killing the man that bought her for sex. She is now 30 and will be released this year in August. Also, she will remain on parole supervision for 10 years and she must not violate any state or federal laws, must hold a job, and must participate in regular counseling sessions.

“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.” Governor Bill Haslam stated.

Brown was convicted in 2006 of murdering 43-year-old Nashville real estate agent, Johnny Allen two years prior to her conviction. He solicited her for sex and picked her up at a drive-in theater in Nashville to take her back to his house where she shot Allen in the back of the head at close range in his sleep. Then she stole money and his guns and fled the scene. Prosecutors at the time said the killing was not motivated by self-defense but by robbery.

However, her lawyers stated that she was a sex trafficking victim who feared for her life and took money in order to not return empty-handed to her pimp, nicknamed “Cut Throat.” It was later proven that she also lacked the mental capability to be culpable in the slaying due to suffering from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome at the time, caused by her mother’s heavily drinking while she was pregnant.

Her case as well as request for clemency were highly supported and encouraged by different public personas, including a US congressman, several Tennessee lawmakers and several celebrities like comedian Amy Schumer, singer Rihanna, reality star Kim Kardashian West, and many others.

Cyntoia Brown is definitely ready for a second chance at life, while in prison she completed her GED and took college classes and received her associate’s degree from Lipscomb Univeristy in 2015. Moreover, she is now working on getting her Bachelor’s degree and is collaborating with Tennessee’s Juvenile Justice System to help counsel troubled young people.