Brittney Griner sentenced to 9 years in Russian prison.

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Fnord
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04 Aug 2022, 10:46 am

American basketball star Brittney Griner was sentenced to 9 years in prison and given a fine of 1 million rubles (approximately $16,500) by a Russian court on Thursday, after she was found guilty of drug possession and smuggling.  Prosecutors had asked that she receive 9 1/2 years in prison.

The trial concluded nearly six months after Griner's arrest at a Moscow airport in a case that reached the highest levels of U.S.-Russia diplomacy, with Washington proposing a prisoner exchange.  Griner's legal team said she would appeal.

Lawyers for the Phoenix Mercury center and two-time Olympic gold medalist had pursued strategies to bolster Griner's contention that she had no criminal intent and that the canisters ended up in her luggage due to hasty packing.  They presented character witnesses from the Russian team that she plays for in the WNBA off-season and written testimony from a doctor who said he prescribed her cannabis for pain treatment.

A lawyer on Griner's defense team, Maria Blagovolina, argued that Griner brought the cartridges with her to Russia inadvertently and only used cannabis as medicine and only while in Arizona, where medical marijuana is legal.  A prosecutor, Nikolai Vlasenko, argued that Griner packed the cannabis oil deliberately.

With the verdict and sentence now official, attention will turn to the high-stakes possibility of a prisoner swap.


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cyberdad
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04 Aug 2022, 4:59 pm

I guess there's not going to be a stampede of American basketballers going to play for Russian teams now. Seems quite disingenuous for Putin to pick on her as she spent a decade of her life playing for a Russian team. I'm surprised her team didn't vouch for her?



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04 Aug 2022, 5:06 pm

She knew the consequences of illegal activity and chose to risk it...now she's facing the consequences and its a shock?

I guess the "do you know who I am?" and or "but I'm a cheerleader" defenses didn't work.



Redd_Kross
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04 Aug 2022, 5:15 pm

DanielW wrote:
She knew the consequences of illegal activity and chose to risk it...now she's facing the consequences and its a shock?

I guess the "do you know who I am?" and or "but I'm a cheerleader" defenses didn't work.


So I guess you didn't read the bit where the defence said the cannabis oil was packed in error, in Arizona where it is a legal medication?

That doesn't sound like she deliberately "chose to risk it".



DanielW
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04 Aug 2022, 5:20 pm

Redd_Kross wrote:
DanielW wrote:
She knew the consequences of illegal activity and chose to risk it...now she's facing the consequences and its a shock?

I guess the "do you know who I am?" and or "but I'm a cheerleader" defenses didn't work.


So I guess you didn't read the bit where the defence said the cannabis oil was packed in error, in Arizona where it is a legal medication?

That doesn't sound like she deliberately "chose to risk it".

Sorry, I don't buy it...vape kits aren't something that gets left in your pocket by mistake and dispensaries warn you that its illegal to leave the area and that its still a federal crime to travel with it no matter where you are.



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04 Aug 2022, 7:25 pm

On the one hand, sure feels like opportunistic hostage taking by the Russians, on the other it's not like we have a of room to talk when it comes to heavy handed drug prosecutions and sentences.


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04 Aug 2022, 11:34 pm

I mean as a forgetful person myself I could certainly see throwing a vape cartridge in a bag I am packing mindlessly, like a vape cart is a very small item. So that is feasible.

The thing that gets me is with Russia invading the Ukraine and U.S supporting the Ukraine side, that means the U.S and Russia are not on good terms. So why in the hell would a freaking american citizen go to Russia. Like I'd just expect Russia would for certain try to detain any american who goes there. I feel bad for the woman but why did she go to russia she could have sat the trip out this time.

I feel bad for her, but at the same time when this conflict started, I was even thinking like americans probably should not go to russia in the current situation. Even though we are not quite at war, Putin already sees us as the enemy so why wouldn't they attempt to capture and detain any american who goes there?


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04 Aug 2022, 11:42 pm

DanielW wrote:
Redd_Kross wrote:
DanielW wrote:
She knew the consequences of illegal activity and chose to risk it...now she's facing the consequences and its a shock?

I guess the "do you know who I am?" and or "but I'm a cheerleader" defenses didn't work.


So I guess you didn't read the bit where the defence said the cannabis oil was packed in error, in Arizona where it is a legal medication?

That doesn't sound like she deliberately "chose to risk it".

Sorry, I don't buy it...vape kits aren't something that gets left in your pocket by mistake and dispensaries warn you that its illegal to leave the area and that its still a federal crime to travel with it no matter where you are.


None of the articles mention that she had a vape kit, just that she had a couple cartridges, which are pretty much useless if you don't have a vaping device to plug them into. If there was a whole vape kit that would be another story but the vape cartridge itself is very small and could be quite easy to misplace. Sure you would not leave a whole vape kit in your pocket on accident but you could certainly leave a cannabis vaping cartridge in your pocket on accident for sure.


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05 Aug 2022, 1:05 am

Sweetleaf wrote:
I feel bad for her, but at the same time when this conflict started, I was even thinking like americans probably should not go to russia in the current situation. Even though we are not quite at war, Putin already sees us as the enemy so why wouldn't they attempt to capture and detain any american who goes there?


Feb. 17: Griner is detained at Sheremetyevo International Airport outside Moscow.
24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine

Given this is almost certainly a hostage situation it suggests the decision to arrest the two time WMBA player of the year was made at least a couple of weeks before Putin's invasion. Putin was clearly organising the invasion probably over Christmas drinks.



cyberdad
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05 Aug 2022, 1:08 am

DanielW wrote:
Sorry, I don't buy it...vape kits aren't something that gets left in your pocket by mistake and dispensaries warn you that its illegal to leave the area and that its still a federal crime to travel with it no matter where you are.


It might appear to be a legit arrest according to Russian law but sounds like a hatchet job. Putin ran the KGB so he knows how to do this stuff. 100% sure they knew 7-8 years ago that Greiner puffs marijuana and only took action to arrest her prior to the invasion to hold her as a bargaining chip.



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05 Aug 2022, 6:11 am

cyberdad wrote:
DanielW wrote:
Sorry, I don't buy it...vape kits aren't something that gets left in your pocket by mistake and dispensaries warn you that its illegal to leave the area and that its still a federal crime to travel with it no matter where you are.


It might appear to be a legit arrest according to Russian law but sounds like a hatchet job. Putin ran the KGB so he knows how to do this stuff. 100% sure they knew 7-8 years ago that Greiner puffs marijuana and only took action to arrest her prior to the invasion to hold her as a bargaining chip.


Also the usual penalty for the amount she had is like 15 days in jail, so this isn't even consistent with how they usually treat the crime of carrying a small amount of marijuana.


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05 Aug 2022, 6:21 am

9 years in prison is absolutely ridiculous.

It’s probable that Brittney is a pawn in the war games played by the Russians.



cyberdad
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05 Aug 2022, 10:15 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
It’s probable that Brittney is a pawn in the war games played by the Russians.


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