Brittney Griner appeal denied

Some unfortunate news has developed in Brittney Griner’s appeal to the Russian courts. Griner’s appeal of her 9-year sentence for drug possession has been denied. Griner has been detained in Russia since February and convicted in August. The court in Moscow upheld their sentencing, but Griner’s lawyers argued that the sentencing was far too severe. Typically, similar cases receive a maximum of five years, with some even receiving parole. However, the court did say that the time she has been in the Russian prisons will count towards the 9-year sentence, meaning she will still have to serve about eight years.

Griner pleaded guilty to having vape canisters attempting to reduce her sentence. She referred to all of this as an “honest mistake.” Unfortunately, 99% of Russian cases end with a conviction. 

Hostage-taking and recovery expert Dr. Dani Gilbert said, “The whole point of a state like Russia arresting an American is not because it’s a legitimate criminal proceeding, but because they intend to use them as a hostage.” 

The US government has said they will attempt a prisoner swap, but this could take months. However, they consider Griner wrongfully detained, and the Biden administration has proposed bringing her home as soon as possible and has been in “active discussions.” 

President Joe Biden has even met with Griner’s wife, Cherelle, and assured her of the government’s consistent efforts to bring her home. 

“I’ve felt every minute of the grueling seven months without her,” Cherelle Griner said in a statement. “I look forward to the day my wife is back home.” 

Hopefully, the Biden administration can bring Griner home soon to be reunited with her loved ones.

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