Cyntoia Brown Speaks Out After Receiving News Of Her Clemency
"With God’s help, I am committed to live the rest of my life helping others, especially young people," Brown said.
January 08, 2019 at 11:14 pm
Cyntoia Brown was sentenced to at least 51 years in a Tennessee prison for killing a man who paid her for sex when she was just 16-years-old. However, as Blavity reported, Brown was granted executive clemency Monday by outgoing Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (R). Following the news, Brown is celebrating being given a second chance.
The Tennessean shared statement written by Brown that was released by her attorneys Tuesday.
The now 30-year-old woman opened the statement by thanking Governor Haslam and by expressing her gratitude for being able to participate in the Lipscomb LIFE Program, an academic program created by Lipscomb University to help inmates earn college degrees.
“Thank you, Governor Haslam, for your act of mercy in giving me a second chance. I will do everything I can to justify your faith in me," her statement read. "I want to thank those at the Tennessee Department of Corrections who saw something in me worth salvaging, especially Ms. Connie Seabrooks for allowing me to participate in the Lipscomb LIFE Program. It changed my life."
Brown also thanked the Tennessee Department of Corrections and noted she has almost completed the course requirements for bachelor’s degree.
"I am also grateful to those at the Tennessee Department of Corrections who will work with me over the next several months to help me in the transition from prison to the free world," she continued. "Thank you to Dr. Richard Goode and Dr. Kate Watkins and all of you at Lipscomb University for opening up a whole new world for me. I have one course left to finish my bachelor’s degree, which I will complete in May 2019."
Blavity reported celebrities like Rihanna, Snoop Dogg and LeBron James all voiced their outrage over Brown's incarceration and their support for her freedom. She thanked those who have advocated on her behalf and honored her family's support in her statement.
"I am thankful for all the support, prayers and encouragement I have received. We truly serve a God of second chances and new beginnings. The Lord has held my hand this whole time, and I would have never made it without Him. Let today be a testament to His saving grace," Brown wrote. "Thank you to my family for being a backbone these past 14 years."
She continued, "I am thankful to my lawyers and their staffs, and all the others who, for the last decade have freely given of their time and expertise to help me get to this day. I love all of you and will be forever grateful."
According to The New York Times, many Nashville lawmakers demanded clemency for Brown. Ahead of the governor's announcement, the Nashville City Council passed a resolution 32-0 arguing she should be let free due to the “horrors of her childhood and the repeated sexual abuse she endured.”
The soon-to-be free woman received news of her clemency weeks before turning 31 on January 29.
"With God’s help, I am committed to live the rest of my life helping others, especially young people," Brown wrote in closing. "My hope is to help other young girls avoid ending up where I have been. Thank you."
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