Tennessee governor Bill Haslam granted clemency to Cyntoia Brown, who was serving a life sentence for killing the man who forced her into prostitution at the age of 16. On Aug. 7, she'll be released on parole supervision after spending 15 years in jail.
“Thank you, Governor Haslam, for your act of mercy in giving me a second chance,” Brown said in a statement released by her attorneys, per CNN. “I will do everything I can to justify your faith in me." She also expressed her gratitude toward the Tennessee Department of Corrections and instructors from Lipscomb University, where she has one course remaining to her Bachelor's degree.
“This decision comes after careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case," Haslam said. "Cyntoia Brown committed, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16. Yet, imposing a life sentence on a juvenile that would require her to serve at least 51 years before even being eligible for parole consideration is too harsh, especially in light of the extraordinary steps Ms. Brown has taken to rebuild her life. Transformation should be accompanied by hope."
The decision to grant clemency to Cyntoia Brown was due in part to the outpouring of support from all walks of life, including celebrities like Drake, who took to Instagram to remember how he and his DJ/manager Future the Prince were "calling everyone trying to see if there was anything we could do about this situation."
"This makes me so happy," Drake said on his Instagram Story.
His work, and the work of many others, paid off.