Tennessee Supreme Court decides Cyntoia Brown may be released after serving 51 years

Posted at 6:30 AM, Jun 14, 2018

The Tennessee Supreme Court said Thursday that Cyntoia Brown, a Nashville woman who was convicted of committing a first-degree murder when she was 16, could be offered the possibility of parole after 51 years in prison.

The statement released by the Supreme Court highlighted the many attempts Brown has made to overturn her sentence.

When Brown's attorneys appeared before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati last summer to argue that her prison sentence is unconstitutional, the court responded by suggesting that Brown may not ever be eligible for parole. 

This new statement from the Supreme Court, however, offers the possibility that Brown, now 30, could be released sometime after her 69th birthday.

Brown, of Nashville, is currently serving a life sentence for murder. When she was just 16, she shot and killed a man who – her lawyers say – had paid her for sex. 

They said Brown was the victim of sex trafficking and shot him in self-defense. Now 30, Brown isn't eligible for parole until she's in her late 60s. 

Earlier this year, she went in front of a state parole board to ask for clemency. However, they couldn’t come to an agreement. 

Governor Bill Haslam has the final say but hasn't yet made his decision.