Tennessee Governor Grants Four People Clemency But Cyntoia Brown Isn’t One Of Them
One woman and three men received clemency from Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.
Governor Bill Haslam has granted clemency to four people and is planning on doing the same for other inmates before he leaves office.
READ: Parole Board Divided On Cyntoia Brown, The Teen Sex Trafficking Victim Serving Life For Killing Her Abuser
Michelle Lea Martin, Ralph Randall Reagan, Robert James Sheard Jr., and Steven Lee Kennedy received clemency from Haslam on Thursday. Of the four selected three were already out of prison according to the Tennessean.
“This is not an exhaustive list. We have others that are in the process. As we work our way through it though, these were the first four that came up that we felt like met the standards of criteria we had set,” Haslam said.
Martin was one of the ones chosen who was still in prison. Her 25-year sentence was commuted to supervised parole. In 2004, Martin was charged with second-degree murder in the death of her father. Martin’s father sexually abused her as a child as well as abused her mother. Martin shot and killed her father after a confrontation about his abuse of her mother occurred.
Following the shooting, she, her mother, and her mother’s boyfriend took her father’s body and concealed it in a barrel of cement. Haslam acknowledged Martin’s status as a model prisoner and pointed to her earning a degree from Lipscomb University while behind bars.
Absent from this first selection is Cyntoia Brown, the sex trafficking victim who was imprisoned at the age of 16 for killing a child predator who paid her for sex.
The incident originally took place back in 2004 when Brown was picked up by Nashville, Tennessee, real estate agent Johnny Mitchell Allen.
Brown admitted that she shot and killed Allen but did so because she feared he would kill her. However, prosecutors argued that Brown robbed Allen after she killed him, with his pants, wallet, and some guns in her possession when apprehended. Ultimately, she was sentenced to life in prison, only eligible for parole after serving 51 years.
Haslam noted that Brown’s situation is similar to Martin’s but didn’t offer any additional comments.