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Tennessee governor grants clemency to woman championed by Kim Kardashian

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Tennessee’s governor on Monday commuted the life sentence of a woman convicted as a teenager of murdering a man who she said paid a trafficker to have sex with her, after Kim Kardashian and other celebrities took up her cause.

Cyntoia Brown, now 30, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of Johnny Allen, a 43-year-old Nashville real estate agent. She will walk out of prison on Aug. 7 after serving 15 years, Governor Bill Haslam’s office said. Brown was 16 at the time of the murder.

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Brown received a life sentence with the possibility of parole after serving a minimum of 51 years in prison. Without the governor’s commutation, she would not have been eligible to be considered for parole until 2055 at the earliest.
“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,” Haslam, a Republican, said in a statement

Brown, who admitted to killing Allen after saying he had paid a trafficker to have sex with her, will be under parole supervision until Aug. 7, 2029, when her sentence will expire.

In November, the singer Rihanna referred to the case when wrote on her Instagram page: “Did we somehow change the definition of #JUSTICE along the way?? … Something is horribly wrong when the system enables these rapists and the victim is thrown away for life!”

Reality TV star Kardashian drew attention to Brown’s case in 2017 when she wrote in a Twitter message: “The system has failed. It’s heart breaking to see a young girl sex trafficked then when she has the courage to fight back is jailed for life!”

While in prison, Brown earned her GED, or high school equivalency certificate, and an associate degree with a 4.0 grade point average. She is expected to complete a bachelor’s degree this year.

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Brown thanked Haslam for giving her a second chance, the Tennessean newspaper reported, citing a statement from her lawyers. An attorney for Brown did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“My hope is to help other young girls avoid ending up where I have been,” Brown said.

Haslam, whose term ends on Jan. 19, has previously granted five commutations, 15 pardons and one exoneration.

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Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago; Editing by Matthew Lewis


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Democratic senator says she gets more ‘disheartened’ every day hearing GOP deny evidence and witnesses

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Day after day, Republicans senators find new excuses to dismiss the evidence they hear that in any courtroom would convict an ordinary American citizen. It was enough to make normally happy Sen. Debbie Stabenow (R-MI) feel "disheartened" by the whole process.

"As somebody from Michigan, we believe in commonsense, and you can't look at all this and say, 'is this how somebody would act if they were innocent?'" said Stabenow. "And you can't look at this and say, 'Is this how somebody would act if they were innocent?' All of this coming out over and over again. I'll never forget Adam Schiff on the floor saying to all of us, 'Nobody's saying, well, gosh, Donald Trump would never do that.' The truth is it's all about will he get away with it? It's all about, are they going to be successful in hiding it and so on?"

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Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera attacks former White House press secretary on Twitter as ‘old douche’

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In a bizarre moment, Sunday evening politics turned into a war of wards in President Donald Trump's Twitter comments.

Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera responded to former press secretary Joe Lockhart, who had replied to one of the tweets Trump retweeted from Rivera.

"Gloom settling on Democrats as they realize they’ve taken their best kill shot & missed. Dems in despair. Republicans United. @realDonaldTrump survives & #Impeachment all over but the shouting," said Rivera, hopefully not literally saying that Democrats wanted to shoot or kill the president.

Lockhart responded to the comment by mocking the Fox News host, saying that he was only making the comment to help get his contract renewed.

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Cartoon Chief Justice tells Susan Collins to just quit and ‘go become a lobbyist’ already

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Cartoon Chief Justice John Roberts began the latest season of Stephen Colbert's animated show, which began its new season Sunday.

Facing the U.S. Senate, Roberts observed Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) dressed as a mouse.

"Oh no! Mouse in the chamber! Everybody forget this vote and run!" the cartoon senator said.

"Senator Collins, just go be a lobbyist," cartoon Roberts said.

As Roberts explained the rules to the chamber, Collins was then spotted spilling gasoline on the floor.

"Everyone, please remember, this is the United States Senate," Roberts said. "We must not degrade the sacred institution home to Strom Thurmond. Let us comport ourselves with dignity, prudence, and Senator Collins, what are you doing?"

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