Cyntoia Brown, who received support from many celebrities after her controversial case went viral last year, is challenging her life sentence in prison.
Brown's lawyers are seeking to overturn her life sentence and have recently filed a federal appeal. According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Brown's lawyers argue that Brown is a victim of fetal alcohol syndrome and she will potentially die behind bars well before her minimum of 51-year sentence has expired.
Brown, 29, has been incarcerated at the Tennessee Prison for Women since 2004. She was convicted of killing a 43-year-old man named Johnny Mitchell Allen, who had paid a trafficker named "Cut Throat" to have intercourse with her when she was just 16.
During her trial in 2004, Brown testified that she was choked, beaten and raped by her pimp repeatedly, forcing her into prostitution. Her lawyers argued at the time that her experiences forced her to shoot Allen. Brown was found guilty of murder and prostitution.
She is not eligible for parole until 2059 — by that time, she will be in her late 60s and her lawyers argue she may not live that long.
Brown's case went viral late last year, capturing the attention of many celebrities who took to social media to call for clemency for Brown. "Something is horribly wrong when the system enables these rapists and the victim is thrown away for life!" Rihanna said in an Instagram post in November.
Kim Kardashian West also joined in the conversation when the hashtag #FreeCyntoiaBrown went viral. "The system has failed," the reality star tweeted last year. "It's heartbreaking to see a young girl sex trafficked then when she has the courage to fight back is jailed for life! We have to do better & do what's right."