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Celebs celebrate Cyntoia Brown clemency decision

FREEDOM: Cyntoia Brown

THE STORY of Cyntoia Brown - the 30-year-old woman serving a life sentence in America for killing a man who solicited her for sex when she was 16 - has touched the hearts of many.

And now, the young woman will be granted clemency and released from prison in August 2019, much to the excitement of supporters who’ve championed for her release over the years.

The news was announced on Monday (Jan 7), with many taking to social media to share their words of support for Ms. Brown.

Jada Pinkett-Smith and Kim Kardashian were among many to thank Tennessee governor Bill Haslam for Ms. Brown’s release.

Jada Pinkett-Smith took to Instagram and wrote: “Cyntoia Brown will be freed!!!!!!! Thank you to @governorbillhaslam and everyone that fought for, shined light on, posted, signed petitions and so on... to make this happen!!!!!”, while rapper Drake posted on Instagram stories: “This makes me so happy I remember me and @futuretheprince getting on the phones calling everyone trying to see fit here was anything we could do about this situation and now Cyntoia was finally granted clemency!

Upon announcing Brown’s upcoming release, Bill Haslam said in a statement: ““Cyntoia Brown committed, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16. 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. Transformation should be accompanied by hope.”

The case caught the attention of many in November 2017 after singer Rihanna posted an image of Brown with the hashtags "FREECYNTOIABROWN" and "HowManyMore."

Brown, who said she was forced into prostitution at a young age, was convicted of the 2004 murder of Johnny Mitchell Allen, 43, whom she said she killed in self-defense.

Rihanna wrote: "Did we somehow change the definition of #JUSTICE along the way?? cause..... Something is horribly wrong when the system enables these rapists and the victim is thrown away for life!," the superstar singer wrote in the caption to a photo of Brown. "To each of you responsible for this child's sentence I hope to God you don't have children, because this could be your daughter being punished for punishing already!"

Check out more reactions to her release below:

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