Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) said that he is considering the clemency request for Cyntoia Brown, a sex trafficking victim who was sentenced to life in prison for killing a 43-year-old man who solicited her for sex when she was 16 years old.
Brown said she shot and killed her victim, Johnny Mitchell Allan, after she resisted his advances, believing he was reaching for a gun. She then took a gun out of her purse and shot and killed Allan. Last week, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that Brown must serve 51 years in prison before being eligible for release.
Haslam was delivering remarks addressing the importance of higher education at an event on Monday when he was pressed by Justin Laing, a member of Black Lives Matter Nashville and an education professional, about the recent ruling, according to Rolling Stone.
“Since we’re here talking about education, I wanted to ask a question about one of your Tennessee students and a graduate of Lipscomb University, Cyntoia Brown,” Laing said, reportedly earning applause from the audience. Brown had reportedly earned an associate’s degree from Lipscomb while she was incarcerated.
Read more at The Hill.