A Russian court on Tuesday rejected Brittney Griner’s appeal after the WNBA star asked forgiveness for her “mistake,” affirming her nine-year sentence on drug charges.
Griner and her counsel had requested acquittal or, at the very least, a more compassionate punishment, which they claimed was disproportionate to the offense and inconsistent with Russian court tradition.
The presiding judge said the verdict was upheld “without changes” except for the counting of time served in pre-trial detention as part of the sentence. Griner is now expected to be moved to a penal colony.
Elizabeth Rood, the US charge d’affaires in Moscow, who witnessed the court, called the penalty “severe and disproportionate.”