WNBA Star Brittney Griner Sentenced to 9 Years in Russian Jail in Drug Trial

A Russian courtroom discovered U.S. WNBA star Brittney Griner responsible of intentionally bringing cannabis-infused vape cartridges into the nation, sentencing her to 9 years in jail, Reuters reported.

Griner, who filed a responsible plea, is among the preeminent stars within the WNBA, described by her attorneys because the “Usain Bolt” of girls’s basketball, in line with Reuters. Prosecutors requested 9 and a half years and a 1 million ruble wonderful, in line with Reuters.

Her bag contained lower than 1 gram of oil, in line with CNN.

“Immediately, American citizen Brittney Griner obtained a jail sentence that’s yet another reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney,” President Joe Biden mentioned in an announcement following the decision. “It’s unacceptable, and I name on Russia to launch her instantly so she might be together with her spouse, family members, buddies, and teammates. My administration will proceed to work tirelessly and pursue each doable avenue to convey Brittney and Paul Whelan residence safely as quickly as doable.”

Griner, although a star within the WNBA, performs abroad in the course of the WNBA’s offseason, in line with NPR.

“I need to apologize to my teammates, my membership, my followers, and town of [Yekaterinburg] for my mistake that I made and the embarrassment that I introduced on them,” Giner mentioned, in line with The Related Press, Thursday. “I need to additionally apologize to my dad and mom, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury group again at residence, the superb girls of the WNBA, and my superb partner again at residence.”

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All through the case, Griner repeatedly maintained that she didn’t intend to violate the regulation and that she was trying ahead to taking part in together with her Russian teammates, in line with NPR. Her protection highlighted the truth that she has a medical marijuana card in Arizona, NPR reported.

“I made an trustworthy mistake and I hope that in your ruling that it doesn’t finish my life right here,” Griner instructed the courtroom, in line with NPR. Griner referred to Russia as her “second residence,” and that she needed to “win championships and make [my Russian teammates] proud.”

Protection lawyer Alexander Boykov famous that Griner was a well-respected member of the Yekaterinburg group and held in excessive regard by her teammates, the AP reported. Protection lawyer Maria Blagovolina highlighted Griner’s lack of felony report and her function as an envoy of basketball in Russia, in line with the AP.

Final week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken made contact with Russian International Minister Sergey Lavrov, providing a prisoner change, the place Griner and fellow American Paul Whelan (imprisoned in Russia on espionage prices), could be traded for Russian arms vendor Viktor Bout, in line with the AP.

White Home press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre mentioned on Monday that Russia responded with a “unhealthy religion” counteroffer, declining to elaborate additional.

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