Brittney Griner’s lawyers are appealing her conviction

Last week Brittney Griner was sentenced to 9 years in prison (and a fine of approximately $16,500) by a Russian court for possession of cannabis oil (0.7 g). The AP reports today that the Mercury player’s lawyers have appealed her conviction.

Griner admitted she had the refills in her luggage, but said she inadvertently packed them in a rush and had no criminal intent. Then his lawyers submitted written statements indicating that he had been prescribed cannabis to treat his pain.

The best chance for release, if not the only one, is through negotiations with Russia for a prisoner exchange. Shortly after the sentencing was announced, United States President Joe Biden issued a statement:

“Today, US citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is yet another reminder of what the world already knew: Russia wrongfully detains Brittney. This is unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately. »

The two countries have since confirmed that talks are being held for a release. The United States also hopes to secure the release of Paul Whelan, who was arrested in Russia in 2018 for espionage and was sentenced to 16 years in prison in 2020. Russia announced on Friday that it wants the Russian arms dealer released. Viktor Bout, nicknamed “The Merchant of Death”, who is serving a 25-year prison sentence for conspiring to kill American citizens and providing aid to a terrorist organization. Russia has been asking for Bout’s release for years, and of course saw the Brittney Griner case as an opportunity…

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