Cyntoia Brown Opens Up About Getting A Second Chance At Life
Despite being locked up when she was just a teenager, Cyntoia Brown is going to be a free woman very soon and she’s so happy about it, she praised the United States criminal justice system for its “compassion.”
Brown was granted clemency by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam after spending 12 years behind bars for killing the man who bought her for sex when she was 16 years old. Now, the 30-year-old is excited to have a second chance at life.
As a guest columnist for The Tennessean, Brown opened up about her experience:
“There are no words to describe the joy and relief I felt when I learned of Gov. Bill Haslam’s extraordinary act of mercy in granting me clemency.
In just seven months, I will walk out of prison and get a second chance at life. I cannot properly convey my gratitude to Tennessee’s 49th governor, to my legal team and to all those along the way who listened to me and help me tell my story to others.
Honoring the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., she wrote:
I believe what matters most is when people begin to listen. That’s how the tide began to turn in the days of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and that is certainly how the tide began to turn for me these past few years.”
In that same sentiment, Brown specifically wrote about the importance of listening to the youth.
“There is great power in listening to the insights of young people. As you think about the issues facing our society today, I invite you to view them from the lens of our youth with an open ear and mind. Let us step fully into our roles as stewards of their future and open our minds to the issues as defined by them. The smaller, quiet voices can speak the loudest if we would only listen.”
Brown says her second chance is a beautiful act of mercy and compassion…
“When you think of me, I hope you will celebrate not only me and my journey, but America and the beauty of a justice system that has the power to listen and understand redemption, forgiveness, mercy and compassion,” adding “America is a wonderful country because of this. Let us all proudly celebrate it as we honor Dr King.”
She’ll be released from prison on August 7 and we’ll be cheering her on all the way. Read her full letter here.