Brittney Griner’s Controversial Prisoner Swap

Brittney Griners Controversial Prisoner Swap

Lucas Moura, Staff Writer

Brittney Griner, a WNBA star, who is now 32 was detained in Russia on Feb. 17, 2022, for allegedly possessing cannabis oil in her luggage after arriving in Moscow from New York City. On Aug. 4, she was sentenced to nine years in prison following a week-long trial. In Russia the prison time for possessing cannabis is 3 years, however, because Brittney Griner is a U.S. citizen and tension between the US and Russia is at an all-time high, Russia gave her an extended prison sentence. On July 27th, the Biden Administration attempted a prisoner swap to release Brittney Griner and another American prisoner. In return for the two, the Biden Administration offered Viktor Bout, a Russian prisoner in the United States serving 25 years for arms trafficking. On the morning of Dec. 8, 2022, Brittney Griner was released from Russia in a one-for-one prisoner swap with Bout. This prisoner swap caused a lot of controversy, as many argue that swapping a dangerous criminal for an athlete who has publicly criticized the US government many times before is a bad idea. Many also say it was an unfair and outright bad prisoner swap as the US government brought Brittney Griner home, yet left a military veteran who has been imprisoned in Russia for the past 4 years.