Meek Mill, T.I. and More Celebrate Cyntoia Brown Being Granted Clemency
On Monday (Jan. 7), Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam granted an early release for Cyntoia Brown, a sex trafficking victim who's been serving a life sentence in prison for killing a man she alleges was planning to statutorily rape and kill her when she was 16. After serving 15 years in prison for the case, Brown will be released on Aug. 7.
Upon hearing the news of Cyntoia Brown's clemency, Meek Mill and T.I. went on their Instagram page to celebrate.
Meek, whose own fight for ccriminal justice reform has been widely publicized, saluted Brown and her supporters for using their voice in bringing awareness to her plight. "[Cyntoia Brown] granted clemency... shout out to the people that used their voice.. it really matters!" the Philly rapper wrote on his Instagram page.
T.I. followed suit. He went on his IG page and celebrated Brown's clemency and those who fought for her freedom from prison. "Welcome Home Sis!!!
#cyntoiabrown is finally FREE!!! All your calls prayers and Post’s worked!!! YOUR VOICE MATTERS!!!! #USorELSE!!!" he wrote.
In his own message, Tony Yayo also made some time to celebrate, posting images of Brown to Instagram while giving out a shout-out. "Congratulations #cyntoiabrown🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿."
News of Brown being granted clemency effectively marks the end of a struggle that's galvanized sections of the hip-hop community since it popped into the mainstream consciousness a last year. Haslam spoke on the situation in a statement he released today.
"Cyntoia Brown committed, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16," Haslam said in a statement to The Tennessean. "Yet, 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."
Brown also released a statement thanking Gov. Haslam and her supporters.
“Thank you, Governor Haslam, for your act of mercy in giving me a second chance. I will do everything I can to justify your faith in me," stated Brown, who will be commuted to parole for 10 years.
"I want to thank those at the Tennessee Department of Corrections who saw something in me worth salvaging, especially Ms. Connie Seabrooks for allowing me to participate in the Lipscomb LIFE Program. It changed my life," she continued. "I am also grateful to those at the Tennessee Department of Corrections who will work with me over the next several months to help me in the transition from prison to the free world."
Check out Meek Mill, T.I., Drake, Tony Yayo and Bun B expressing joy for Cyntoia Brown's clemency below as well as her attorney's press conference.