October 25, 2022 

A breakdown of Brittney Griner’s rejected appeal

This morning Brittney Griner and her legal team faced yet another setback as her sentencing appeal was rejected in a Russian court

Brittney Griner has been wrongfully detained on drug charges since Feb. 17, 2022. Now, a little over eight months after her detainment, Griner was sentenced to serve a nine-year prison sentence. This morning, she and her legal team faced yet another setback as her sentencing appeal was rejected in a Russian court.

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The penal colony

As Griner’s lawyers and the American government continue to take advantage of any further efforts to bring the basketball star home, a raised concern is that of the penal colony. Although in Russia, penal colonies are usually reserved for those prisoners with lesser offenses, colonies mimic the poor, inhumane and dangerous conditions similar to concentration camps. The United States Department of State conducted a study last year on penal colonies; to name a few of its findings, Russian penal colonies demonstrated “…overcrowding, violence, torture… abuse.” Regarding her transfer, which could take weeks or months, there is no specific timeline for when Griner may be located in one of these colonies.

Moving forward

Does the rejection of her appeal today mean that Griner’s fate is sealed for the next eight years? Similar to the guilty plea during her sentencing in July, today’s verdict did not surprise Griner and her lawyers, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov. As ESPN’s T.J. Quinn reported, following this juncture, with the upcoming midterm elections in two weeks, negotiations and serious offers may potentially resume bringing Brittney Griner back to American soil.

Written by Caylen Johnson

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