After years of fighting for her freedom, Cyntoia Brown has finally been granted clemency by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.
According to NBC News, Brown, 30, was granted a full commutation to parole and will be eligible for release on Aug. 7, remaining on parole for 10 years.
Brown was incarcerated at 16-years-old after being charged as an adult and found guilty of murdering Johnny Mitchell Allen. While Brown said that Allen, 45, solicited her for sex in 2004, took her home and threatened her life, prosecutors argued that she shot Allen to rob him, not a means of self-defense.
Because of this miscarriage of justice and inability to see her as a sex trafficking victim, Brown spent nearly 15 years in prison. However, freedom is within her reach, thanks to her lawyers, advocates and people on social media demanding for justice.
Upon hearing news of her upcoming release, Brown thanked Haslam and her supporters in a statement released on Monday (Jan. 7) by her attorneys.
“Thank you, Governor Haslam, for your act of mercy in giving me a second chance,” Brown said. “I will do everything I can to justify your faith in me.”
Adding, “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.”
Haslam said the decision comes 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.”
In addition to her release, Brown will be required to get a job, participate in regular counseling sessions and perform at least 50 hours of community service, the Tennessean reported.
Her supporters flocked to Twitter to celebrate the good news and point out how the justice system continues to fail Black women like Brown.