Brittney Griner ‘Prepared for the Worst’ Ahead of Thursday’s Expected Verdict

by Dustin Schutte

With a verdict expected to come very soon, WNBA star Brittney Griner prepares herself for any situation she might face from the Russian court.

According to ESPN, Griner is “prepared for the worst,” regarding the verdict. She faces a potential 10-year prison sentence if found guilty. Russia has detained Griner since her arrest in February. Authorities arrested her after finding vape cartridges containing hashish oil at an airport in Moscow.

ESPN reports that a verdict could be reached as early as Thursday.

Brittney Griner’s Defense Team Makes Final Push

Earlier this week, Brittney Griner’s defense team made one last push to clear her name. Forbes reported the defense team produced an “expert witness” who testified that the cannabis tests on the cartridges did not meet legal requirements.

Others also testified in defense of Griner, including Russian teammate Yevgeniya Belyakova and the team’s doctor. After that final push, one of Griner’s lawyers said she expected a verdict “very soon.”

Still No Decision on Prisoner Swap

The United State has attempted to negotiate a prisoner swap with Russia in hopes of setting Brittney Griner and U.S. Marine Paul Whelan free. In exchange, the U.S. would release Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

So far, Russia has not agreed to the deal. Secretary of State Antony Blinken released a statement on the United States’ offer.

“In the coming days, I expect to speak with Russian Foreign Minister [Sergey] Lavrov for the first time since the war began,” Blinken said. “I plan to raise an issue that’s a top priority for us — the release of Americans Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner, who have been wrongly detained and must be allowed to come home.

“We put a substantial offer on the table weeks ago to facilitate their release. Our governments have communicated repeatedly and directly on that proposal. And I’ll use the conversation to follow up personally, and I hope move us toward a resolution.”