Though Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison, her fight is far from over. On Monday, the WNBA’s star legal defense team filed to appeal the sentence.
The Phoenix Mercury player was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison after being convicted on August 4 for the findings of vape canisters in her luggage at the Moscow airport.
The Biden administration strongly suggests that Griner is being used as a pawn, and talks for a prisoner swap are currently being discussed.
With hopes of easing her sentence, Griner, who’s been jailed in Russia since February, pleaded guilty to the charges back in July.
Griner’s lawyer Maria Blagovolina says the appeal was filed, but the grounds for the appeal haven’t been cleared yet. The appeal was expected as, under Russian law, her legal team had ten days to file an appeal.
Griner did admit to having canisters in her luggage but said she had no criminal intent. Before her conviction, the U.S. State Department declared Griner to be “wrongfully detained.”