Tennessee’s governor has said that he is currently reviewing a case for clemency for Cyntoia Brown.
Brown was just 16 years old when she was convicted of murder. Following a recent appeal, the state Supreme Court ruled that Brown must serve at least 51 years in prison before she is eligible for release.
Brown was tried as an adult and convicted of first-degree murder in 2006 for the 2004 killing of 43-year-old Johnny Mitchell Allen, who had solicited her for sex. Brown has always maintained that she feared for her life when she killed him.
The Tennessee Supreme Court said that defendants who are convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison cannot become eligible for release from prison without serving a minimum of 51 years.
Back in May, Brown appeared before the Tennessee Board of Parole and Probation. The board is made up of six members who were equally divided in their opinion. Two voted to release her, two others voted to deny her request for freedom and the final two members voted to she should come up for parole after serving 25 years in prison ABC News reported.
The decision now falls to outgoing Gov. Bill Haslam.
"We're in the midst of reviewing Cyntoia's case," Haslam said. "The Supreme Court ruling didn't really affect what we do one way or the other.
"I will say this, we’re reviewing a lot of cases, and while Cyntoia’s case has gotten a lot of publicity, I don’t think you want us to treat her's any different than a whole lot of cases that I think people want us to review to see if it's been handled well, because her's has gotten publicity.”
"We're doing our best to review every aspect of that, talking to everybody involved," he added, "just like we are with several other -- I wouldn't say exactly similar cases -- but somewhat similar cases."