ball's in their court
WNBA star Brittney Griner appeared in a Russian courtroom in handcuffs on Monday as officials announced that her trial for drug trafficking would begin on July 1. She will remain in custody for the duration of the trial.
ESPN notes that "[f]ewer than one percent of defendants in Russian criminal cases are acquitted" and that, unlike in the U.S., prosecutors can appeal to a higher court if a criminal defendant is acquitted.
Griner, who played for a Russian basketball team during the WNBA off season, was arrested in February at Sheremetyevo International Airport after members of Russia's Federal Security Service allegedly found vaporizer cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage.
Russian news media have reportedly floated the idea that the U.S. might be persuaded to trade Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout — who is serving a 25-year sentence in Illinois — for Griner.