With the supporters and opponents of Cyntoia Brown watching closely, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam commuted the sentences of 11 prisoners this past week. However, the list did not include Brown, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2004 for murdering the manwho allegedly used her as a sex slave.
Gov. Haslam explained his decision about which prisoners he wanted to pardon via a press release obtained by “Inside Edition.”
“I am pleased to grant these acts of clemency. These individuals have made positive contributions to their communities and deserve pardons, or are individuals who will receive another chance to become contributing members of society by virtue of their commutations.”
At the beginning of December, Haslam promised the media that he would consider granting clemency to Brown. She fatally shot 43-year-old Nashville real estate agent Johnny Allen when she was a 16-year-old prostitute. She says she killed him because he forced her into sexual slavery, but detectives and prosecutors believe Brown’s motive for murder was more sinister.
State legislators asked Haslam to grant clemency to Brown, who is now 30, after a panel of Tennessee Supreme Court justices rejected her request for a new trial in December. The court decided that Brown must serve 51 years of her life sentence before she can be considered for parole.
The lead detective who worked Brown’s murder case agreed with the court’s decision not to pardon Brown. In a seven-page letter to the governor obtained byWKRN-TV, Detective Charles Robinson wrote:
“First and foremost, Cyntoia Brown did not commit this murder because she was a child sex slave as her advocates would like you to believe, Cyntoia Brown’s motive for murdering Johnny Allen in his sleep was robbery,” he said.
“My findings were that she was not justified in killing the man and her only motivation for the murder was robbery,” Robinson added.
Gov. Haslam will still consider whether to grant clemency to Brown before he leaves office in January.
Reporter: Terry Shropshire for Rolling Out https://rollingout.com/author/terry-shropshire-2/