By: Nina Samone
More than four months after being arrested at an airport in Moscow for the discovery of hash oil in her luggage, Brittney Griner finally has a trial start date – July 1st.
If convicted, charges could result in up to 10 years in prison. According to ESPN news services, fewer than 1% of defendants in Russian criminal cases are acquitted – and acquittals in Russia can be overturned.
The U.S Department of State categorized Griner as “wrongfully detained” back in May and said in a statement that “the welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is among the highest priorities of the U.S. government.”
Griner’s detention was extended for another six months on Monday and is to last for the duration of her trial. Despite U.S. efforts to get her home, it’s not likely to happen any time soon.
There has been talk of a prisoner exchange, but it would require Griner to be convicted of the crime and then receive a presidential pardon.
Griner was named an honorary WNBA All-Star for the 2022 season and has received a lot of love and support from fellow WNBA players and others in hopes that more can be done to get her out of this situation.
ESPN News Services. June 2022. ESPN. “Brittney Griner’s trial in Russia on alleged cannabis possession to begin July 1.” <https://www.espn.com/wnba/story/_/id/34155876/brittney-griner-appears-russian-court-preliminary-hearing>
Conway, Tyler. June 27th, 2022. Bleacher Report. “Brittney Griner’s Trial Set for July 1 in Russia; WNBA Star Facing 10 Years in Prison <https://bleacherreport.com/articles/10040067-brittney-griners-trial-set-for-july-1-in-russia-wnba-star-facing-10-years-in-prison>
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