Brittney Griner's appeal date scheduled for Oct. 25
Driving the news: Griner’s lawyers have argued that the punishment — just under the 10-year maximum — was excessive, per AP.
- Griner has been detained since February and maintains that she had "no intent" to break the law by bringing vape cartridges into Russia.
- Her lawyers told a Russian court in July that doctors in the U.S. prescribed Griner medical cannabis for chronic pain.
- U.S. officials have said that she is "wrongfully detained" by Russia.
- Russia confirmed in August that it was negotiating with the U.S. about the potential exchange.
- The Biden administration earlier this year conducted a prisoner swap with Russia, seeing former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed released in exchange for Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian citizen serving a 20-year sentence after being found guilty of conspiracy to smuggle more than $100 million worth of cocaine into the U.S.
Worth noting: President Biden met with Griner and Whelan's families in September "to reiterate his continued commitment to working through all available avenues to bring Brittney and Paul home safely" from Russian detainment, according to the White House.