Cyntoia Brown is getting out of jail.
Tennessee’s Governor Bill Haslam ordered an early release for Brown, an alleged sex trafficking victim serving a life sentence for killing a man when she was 16 back in 2004.
Brown will be eligible for release on August 7th and will stay on parole for 10 years. She began serving her sentence in 2006.
“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.”
Brown will be required to participate in regular counseling sessions and must complete at least 50 hours of community service, including working with at-risk youth. She also will be required to get a job.
Activists, lawmakers and celebrities have highlighted her case, fueling intense interest and a renewed legal fight to get her out of prison following a 2011 PBS documentary, “Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story.” Rihanna and Kim Kardashian West, have cited Brown’s case as an illustration of a broken justice system. Brown was a victim herself, they said, and didn’t deserve her punishment.
In a statement released by her lawyers, Brown thanked Gov. Haslam for giving her a second chance.