Brittney Griner, a star player for the WNBA, was given a nine-year sentence for drug possession and smuggling after a Russian court rejected her request for a shorter term. Unless American politicians negotiate for her release, she will have to serve her entire sentence in a Russian detention facility.
Griner made her case to the three judges who would essentially decide her fate in court. The committee questioned Griner about her actions and the motivations behind them. Griner gave a sincere and accurate response, providing the judges with the information they needed to make a decision about her future.
“I received a significant amount of time for cannabis oil—more than people who have committed much more serious offenses have received. Not at all what I intended. “.
Her attorney had doubts about the choice in the days before Griner’s court appearance. Griner had a difficult year because her case took place during the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and at a time when ties between the US and Russia were tense.
Only two weeks before Russian troops invaded Ukraine in February, the star player was detained at a Moscow-area airport after officials found less than a gram of cannabis oil in her suitcase. Griner entered a guilty plea to the serious drug charges, which carried a potential ten-year prison term.
She was quickly removed from the scene and is now being held by Russian authorities.
The star athlete admitted to drug offenses that could have carried a ten-year sentence, but instead of serving time, she was kidnapped and has been held in Russian custody ever since.
Griner was finally sentenced to nine years in prison in August after several delays. The United States and Russia have been urged to release Griner by Vice President Joe Biden. The Department of State has stated that Griner is “wrongfully held,” and Biden claimed that a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 Summit in November could only take place if Griner’s release was brought up. “.
Griner received a sentence of 9 years, just short of the maximum of 10. Lawyers for Griner claim that the verdict was “completely irrational,” and they plan to file an appeal. In addition to acknowledging her guilt, Griner claimed to have understood all of the claims made against her. She remained adamant, though, that she had no desire to break any Russian laws.
The unknown is the current state of negotiations between the US and Russia to free prisoners. Biden pledged that his administration would “fight tirelessly and exhaust every possible route” to bring Griner and Whelan home. “.
The demand for a prisoner swap, however, has been made by activists for months. Concerns about her being used as a pawn in a political game grow as a result of this. It is important to keep in mind that relations between Russia and the US have not always been good, given the Kremlin’s ongoing conflict with Ukraine.
The US has continued to give Ukraine weapons and millions of dollars in humanitarian aid. In addition, they enacted historic sanctions that cut off the economy of Moscow from the rest of the world.