Cyntoia Brown’s lawyers filed a formal petition Tuesday with the Tennessee parole board to commute her life sentence, also hoping that Governor Bill Haslam could grant Brown clemency for her first-degree murder conviction.
Brown caught national attention recently for her life story, which included shooting and killing a 43-year-old man who had hired her for sex at the age of 16. Brown was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison in 2004. She is not eligible for parole until she is 67. But a national #FreeCyntoiaBrown effort, that includes Kim Kardashian’s lawyers, is pushing to have Brown released.
Many have written letters to the parole board, and almost 500,000 people have signed a petition for her release. Her legal team have requested that her sentence be commuted from first-degree to second-degree murder, which could pave the way for her release next year, according to the Nashville Scene.
“I would urge you to commute Ms. Brown’s sentence from first-degree murder to second degree murder in order to better align Ms. Brown’s sentence without understanding of human trafficking, adverse childhood experiences and adolescent brain development while still holding her accountable for her actions,” Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, Barry wrote.
But Brown’s lawyers are also hoping that the the governor could grant her clemency if the board decides not to commute her sentence.
“With all the worldwide attention this has gotten, it all comes down to Gov. Bill Haslam,” lawyer Charles Bone told The Tennessean.