The advocacy surrounding the case of Cyntoia Brown — the sex-trafficked teen serving a life sentence for murdering a man who solicited her — might help her obtain early release, a legal expert tells PEOPLE.
University of Memphis professor Steve Mulroy tells PEOPLE that Brown — the 29-year-old woman who, at the age of 16, murdered a 43-year-old man — could have her life sentence commuted by this time next year.
The decision to free her rests entirely with Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.
Haslam has been Tennessee’s governor since 2011, and his term in office ends after 2018.
“Usually, a governor will wait until the end of their second term to make any commutations. If he takes any action at all, it would not be until late next year,” Mulroy says, noting that Haslam has not granted a commutation while in office.
Last month, interest in Brown’s case spiked online when Kim Kardashian West and Rihanna both shared a post on social media featuring an image of Brown, and a statement about her case.
Rapper T.I. and actress Cara Delivigne have also used their platforms to shine new light on the case, and are calling on lawmakers to intervene. Kardashian West vowed in …read more