Brittney Griner found guilty by Russian court, sentenced to 9 years in jail

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted from a courtroom after a hearing in Khimki just outside of Moscow on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. Griner was convicted of drug possession and smuggling and sentenced her to nine years in prison.

Alexander Zemlianichenko, Associated Press

On Thursday, Brittney Griner was convicted in a Russian court on charges of illegally smuggling drugs and sentenced to nine years in prison. President Joe Biden and the State Department maintain the WNBA star is being wrongfully detained by the Russian government.

The verdict: Griner was detained in Russia on Feb. 17 and accused by prosecutors of smuggling less than a gram of cannabis oil into the country. According to Griner’s lawyers, she was prescribed the oil in 2020 to treat injury-related pain. A doctor’s letter was submitted as proof. Griner has apologized and pleaded guilty to drug charges last month.

“My parents taught me two important things: One, take ownership for your responsibilities and two, work hard for everything that you get. That’s why I pleaded guilty to my charges,” Griner said, per The New York Times.

Griner faced up to 10 years in prison under Russian law, and prosecutors asked that the two-time U.S. Olympic basketball gold medalist be sentenced to 9.5 years. On Thursday, the court sentenced her to nine years in prison and a fine of one million rubles (around $16,300).

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What’s next? Griner’s legal team said the verdict was “absolutely unreasonable” and claimed the court ignored evidence and failed to consider Griner’s guilty plea. …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

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