[Ed. – Governor who granted her pardon is Republican.]
Cyntoia Brown was sitting in the visiting room at the Tennessee Prison for Women on Monday morning when her lawyers walked in with the life-changing news.
“You’re getting out in August,” Charles Bone said as soon as he saw her.
Her reaction was immediate.
“She just lit up with a joy I’ve never seen before,” said Kathy Sinback, the administrator for Nashville’s juvenile court who acted as Brown’s first public defender.
Brown was sentenced to life in prison in 2006 after she fatally shot a man in the back of the head while he was lying in bed beside her. But in a remarkable announcement Monday, Gov. Bill Haslam said her rehabilitation behind bars, combined with her youth at the time of the crime, warranted mercy.
“Cyntoia Brown committed, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16,” Haslam said in a statement. “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.