Kim Kardashian is celebrating the clemency of Cyntoia Brown, People is reporting. Brown, now age 30, was sentenced to life in prison after killing a man who paid her for sex when she was just 16-years-old. Further information revealed over the years garnered sympathy for Brown, who was a child sex trafficking victim and claimed to have been afraid for her life when she killed the man.
Many celebrities spread the word about her story, particularly Kardashian, who has become passionate about prison reform. Kardashian was reportedly the driving force that sparked another investigation into Brown’s case in 2017. After serving 15 years of her life sentence, Brown was granted clemency on Monday, January 7 and will now be released from prison, resulting in celebrations all across Twitter.
“Thank you Governor Haslam,” Kardashian tweeted about Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, who ordered Brown’s release. Last year, Kardashian tweeted that “the system [had failed]” and that she would be contacting her attorneys to help Brown with her case.
“THANK YOU Governor @BillHaslam!!!!” Jada Pinkett Smith echoed in her own tweet.
“Yes!!! Cyntoia Brown is granted full clemency!! Thank you, Governor Haslam! Thank you!” tweeted Alyssa Milano.
Other notable celebs who have spoken out about Brown’s story on social media include Rihanna and Ashley Judd. Brown is set to be released on August 7. This clemency was definitely not a sure thing — just a month ago, the state’s supreme court ruled that Brown must serve at least 51 years of her sentence. While she will be freed in a few months, she will stay on parole for 10 years.
“Thank you, Governor Haslam, for your act of mercy in giving me a second chance,” Brown said in a statement.
“I will do everything I can to justify your faith in me.”
Brown said she was forced into underage prostitution, with her boyfriend receiving all of the money she would make. When 43-year-old real estate agent Johnny Mitchell Allen paid for sex with Brown in August 2004, Brown believed at one point that he intended to reach for a gun while the two were in bed together. She says she shot him in self-defense, but prosecutors claimed that she killed him with the intent to rob Allen. She was tried and convicted as an adult. Brown has claimed in appeals over the years that her sentencing was unconstitutional, as a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling found that juveniles could not receive mandatory life sentences without parole.
This is one of the final significant decisions that Gov. Haslam has made as he prepares to leave office.
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