A Tennessee woman who’s been in prison since she was 16 is scheduled to be released from prison next week. Cyntoia Brown, 31, received an August 7 release date after having her sentence commuted by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. Brown is currently incarcerated at Tennessee State Prison.
Brown’s case gained national attention nearly two years ago after Rihanna as well as other celebrities got behind the hashtag #FreeCyntoiaBrown after learning the story of how she ended up convicted of first degree murder as a teen. Brown was a victim of sex trafficking, and in 2004 Brown was arrested for shooting and killing a man who attempted to pick her up.
Brown was tried as an adult and convicted for the crime, but her lawyers argued that the life sentence was too harsh for someone her age. According to reports, Brown was not eligible for parole for another 20 years. Given the national spotlight on the case from celebrities and activists along with a petition that gained more than half a million signatures, Gov. Haslam granted clemency to Brown which started the process of her release.
According to The Hill, upon release Brown will still have to meet with a parole officer regularly for the next 10 years.