Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is investigating the possibility of clemency for Cyntoia Brown, a sex trafficking victim who was told by the state’s Supreme Court that she must serve at least 51 years in prison for killing a man when she was 16, ABC News reports.
“I will say this, we’re reviewing a lot of cases, and while Cyntoia’s case has gotten a lot of publicity, I don’t think you want us to treat her’s any different than a whole lot of cases that I think people want us to review to see if it’s been handled well, because her’s has gotten publicity,” said Haslam.
Brown, who was tried as an adult, was convicted in 2006 of killing Johnny Mitchell Allen, 43, in 2004, who hired her when she was 16 years old for sex. She said she feared for her life.
In a unanimous decision last week, the five justices said that any defendant who is convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment could become eligible for release only after serving a minimum of 51 years in prison.
In May, the Tennessee Board of Parole and Probation was divided on whether Brown should be released, ultimately leaving the decision on whether she should be released up to the Republican governor.
“We’re doing our best to review every aspect of that, talking to everybody involved,” he said. “Just like we are with several other—I wouldn’t say exactly similar cases—but somewhat similar cases.”