Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee governor's decision to grant clemency to a woman who killed a man when she was 16 had the potential to pit political interests against widespread support for her cause. Yet the governor says the decision came down to doing the right thing.

Outgoing Republican Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday quietly issued his decision on Cyntoia Brown, who says she was a sex-trafficking victim. However, the news quickly spread, thrilling criminal justice advocates, celebrities and other supporters who had been fighting for years to help Brown.

Haslam, who is considering a run for a U.S. Senate seat in 2020, has downplayed potential impacts to his political career in an interview with the Tennessee Journal .

The 30-year-old Brown will remain on parole for 10 years after her release Aug. 7.

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