Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday he has granted clemency to Cyntoia Brown, a woman who has been serving a life sentence in prison for a murder she committed when she was 16 years old.
Brown, now 30, wasn't going be eligible for release for another 51 years.
Then social media picked up her story, igniting a firestorm of support for Brown.
“This decision comes after careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case,” Haslam said.
“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. So, I am commuting Ms. Brown’s sentence, subject to certain conditions.”
According to a news release, Brown’s parole conditions will require that she not violate any state or federal laws, and she will be subject to a release plan approved by the Tennessee Department of Correction and special supervision conditions, including employment, education, counseling and community engagement requirements.
She will be on probation for 10 years.