After a Russian courtroom sentenced WNBA star Brittney Griner to 9 years in jail for a drug smuggling conviction on Thursday, the participant’s supporters, teammates and quite a few US officers swiftly condemned the choice.
Now, Griner has returned to the detention middle the place she was held throughout her weeks-long trial as her legal professionals vow to attraction the sentence and the Biden administration makes an attempt to barter for her launch.
The case: In the course of the trial, Griner pleaded responsible to carrying less than 1 gram of hashish oil in her baggage as she traveled via a Moscow airport on February 17. She testified that she was conscious of Russia’s strict drug legal guidelines and had no intention of bringing hashish into the nation, saying she was in a rush and “stress packing.”
Her legal professionals had hoped that Griner’s responsible plea and statements of regret would lead to a extra lenient sentence. Along with her nine-year sentence, Griner should pay a high quality of 1 million rubles (about $16,400).
What’s subsequent: Griner’s authorized crew will file an attraction to the courtroom’s determination, which they have to do inside 10 days of the decision, in accordance with her legal professionals.
“We’re very disenchanted by the decision. As authorized professionals, we imagine that the courtroom ought to be truthful to everybody no matter nationality. The courtroom fully ignored all of the proof of the protection, and most significantly, the responsible plea,” they stated in an announcement.
Prisoner swap: Final week, CNN reported that the Biden administration has proposed a prisoner swap, providing to alternate a convicted Russian arms trafficker for Griner and Whelan.
Whelan, a US citizen and former Marine, was handed a 16-year jail sentence in 2018 on espionage prices after a trial the US deemed unfair.
After Griner’s sentence, Nationwide Safety Council coordinator John Kirby stated that it was “as much as the Russian aspect” on whether or not the conviction will open the door for prisoner-swap negotiations.
Learn extra here.