Brittney Griner’s Appeal Hearing For 9-Year Prison Sentence Set For October 25 In Russian Court
Detained WNBA star Brittney Griner is set to fight her lengthy prison sentence in an appeal hearing on October 25.
According to reports, the Moscow region court will hear Brittney Griner’s appeal. The basketball star, who will turn 32 one week before her appeal hearing, was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison on August 4, just below the maximum sentence of 10 years.
As previously mentioned, Brittney Griner, 31, was arrested just outside of Moscow in March for allegedly bringing a vape pen with a cannabis cartridge through the airport. The Phoenix Mercury player was charged with drug smuggling and has since filed an appeal.
Following the sentencing on August 4, Griner’s attorneys officially filed an appeal on August 15. In September, one of Griner’s attorney’s Maria Blagovolina told reporters the star athlete has been “stressed” during the process. She said,
“Brittney is stressed and very much concerned with the future.”
Reports state that once the appeal begins on October 25, the process will take several months. Another one of Griner’s attorneys, Alexander Boykov from the Moscow Legal Center said,
“It’s not very fast.”
Despite the appeal being a hit or miss, the United States government is reportedly in negotiations to bring Griner home as part of a prisoner exchange between the US and Russia. The Biden administration has stated publicly they were working on negotiations to have Griner and another US prisoner Paul Whelan returned in exchange for a not-yet-named Russian arms dealer held in the US.
Reportedly, when Griner heard about the potential exchange, Maria Blagovolina previously told reporters she was,
“quite happy to know that she’s not been forgotten and that there are some possible developments. But she’s quite realistic about what’s going on.”
What are your thoughts on the latest update surrounding Brittney Griner’s case? Leave us a comment below!