Sex trafficking victim Cyntoia Brown, who received life sentence for murder, released from prison

Cyntoia Brown
(Image credit: Cyntoia Brown / Associated Press)

After being granted clemency earlier this year, Cyntoia Brown is walking free.

Brown, who in 2006 was sentenced to life in prison over the murder and robbery of Johnny Allen, was released on parole on Wednesday after Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) granted her clemency in January, CBS News reports. Brown was 16 when she killed Allen but was tried as an adult. She has said she acted in self-defense and that Allen had solicited her for sex, also saying that she believed she was in danger and that Allen was going to kill her, CNN reports.

The prosecution argued that the killing was not done in self-defense because Brown stole money from Allen. Brown had run away from her family and been forced into prostitution, The New York Times reports.

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Following her 2006 conviction, Brown would not have been eligible for parole until serving 51 years. Kim Kardashian West was among those who fought for Brown to have her sentence commuted, and she brought up this case when she met with President Trump to discuss criminal justice reform, The Washington Post reports.

Haslam agreed upon granting Brown clemency in January that "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," NPR reports. "Transformation should be accompanied by hope."

Brown in a statement on Wednesday said, "I look forward to using my experiences to help other women and girls suffering abuse and exploitation." She is set to publish a book this fall.

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.