WNBA star Brittney Griner filed an appeal on Monday after being sentenced to nine years in prison. Griner was detained in Russia back in February after being found with vape canisters that contained cannabis oil in her luggage at the airport.
The appeal was no surprise as Griner’s lawyers already made plans to file it once she was convicted. Griner admitted that she had canisters in her luggage but said it was accidentally packed and had no intent on breaking the law. Griner’s lawyers argued that the sentence was extreme and defendants in similar cases received on average a five year prison sentence.
President Joe Biden, who is making a attempt to get her back to the US via prisoner trade, reacted to the verdict saying “Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney,” Biden said. “It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates. My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible.”
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