Basketball star Brittney Griner just exhausted the last of her legal options as an appeal was denied Tuesday.
The WNBA player asked a Moscow regional court to overturn her conviction of charges of drug possession and drug smuggling with criminal intent, but the court denied her. Griner’s counsel argued that her sentence was excessive and unjustified.
Griner will need to complete her 9-year sentence in a Russian prison, which she fears will provide inhumane conditions. Griner will likely be transferred to a penal colony, where conditions can be spartan, and she will be required to perform labor during her sentence.
Griner’s attorneys are attempting to have her sent to a colony close to Moscow so they can keep in touch with her, but the final decision will be up to the thus-far unsympathetic courts.
Her only hope to return home before her nine years are complete is if the United States can arrange a prisoner exchange. This hope seems vanishingly unlikely as tensions between the two countries heat up over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
So far, the US has suggested trading her and Paul Whelan (another wrongfully detained American) for a notorious Russian arms trafficker known as “the Merchant of Death,” Viktor Bout. So far, Russia has seemed unenthusiastic about the exchange and may demand a 2-for-2 deal.
You don’t obey the law in another country you pay the price.
Don’t kneel next time.