Brittney Griner To Spend 9 Years In Russian Penal Colony After Court Rejects Appeal• https://www.zerohedge.com, by Tyler Durden
Griner's lawyers told NYTimes before the appeal on Tuesday that she did "not expect any miracles to happen" but was optimistic that the appeals court's three-judge panel would reduce her sentence.
Griner, 31, wasn't in court but participated in the proceedings via video from Correctional Colony No. 1 in Novoye Grishino, north of Moscow.
The denial of Griner's appeal over her drug smuggling conviction sentence could pave the way for the Biden administration to get further involved in negotiating a deal for her release. In July, Biden officials offered a prisoner swap for Griner, though Russian officials said it was premature to discuss such things.
On Monday, Griner's lawyers released this statement:
"Brittney is a very strong person and has a champion's character.
"She of course has her highs and lows as she is severely stressed being separated from her loved ones for over eight months."
One of her lawyers, Maria Blagovolina, told Reuters that her client's "punishment doesn't correspond to the gravity of the crime."
The WNBA's Phoenix Mercury basketball star and a two-time Olympic gold medalist was arrested in early February in Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport for "smuggling" two vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage. Griner admitted her guilt in court but insisted that she had no intention to break the law. She told the court that she had made "an honest mistake."