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Brittney Griner is coming home

Brittney Griner no longer has to remain in a penal colony known for torture.

Brittney Griner. 2013 WNBA NO. 1 draft pick playing for the Phoneix Mercury V.s Connecticut Sun.
Brittney Griner is a Baylor and Phoenix Mercury legend.
Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

After 294 days of wrongful detainment, part of which was spent imprisoned in a penal colony, Brittney Griner is coming home. She has been freed because of a prisoner exchange; the United States is freeing Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer.

Griner’s fellow WNBA superstar Breanna Stewart has tweeted reminders about Griner’s detainment every day for quite some time.

President Biden also recently tweeted about the news:

Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison for carrying cannabis oil in her luggage while on her way home from playing basketball in Russia. The cannabis was medically prescribed and was not in the amount that would warrant that long of a sentence under Russian law. Russia ignored its own rules and held a sham trial that Griner never had a chance of winning. It is believed to have used Griner as a political pawn during its ongoing war with Ukraine.

Another detained American, Paul Whelan, was involved in the swap negotiations but was not included in the final deal. Whelan is a corporate security executive who has been detained in Russia since December 2018 and is serving a 16-year sentence. He has been charged with espionage; the U.S. government considers him innoncent.