Governor Haslam says some clemency cases could be decided this week


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Governor Bill Haslam says there may be some decisions still this week about numerous clemency requests before him. 

This could include the request by Cyntoia Brown, whose case has drawn national attention. 

“There is nothing I can say, nothing to justify what I did,” said a tearful Brown in May during an appearance before the state parole board.  

As a teenager, Brown was convicted in 2004 of killing Johnny Allen–a man who solicited sex from her when she was 16, but supporters claim it was self-defense after being drawn into a life of prostitution.  

The case has drawn national attention with celebrities and protests calling for her release. The parole board split in reviewing her clemency plea last May. 

Two members wanted it, two did not and two recommended eligibility for parole after she served 25 years, but now the final decision is with Governor Bill Haslam who leaves office Jan. 19.  

“On the Cyntoia case we don’t have a timeline,” the governor said on Monday. “We are doing our due diligence and then we have a lot of cases. We will potentially have some announcement this week.” 

The governor added there are several questions he asks in making clemency decisions. 

“Were there some extenuating circumstance, aggravating factors and what has happened since that time while that person has been incarcerated?” said the governor.  “Has there been true rehabilitation.” 

The governor said those ideas apply to all the clemency cases before him–not just the ones getting national attention. 

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