pleaded guilty to the charge, but insisted she had never intended to break Russian law, and that the vape cartridges were in her luggage due to an oversight while packing in a hurry.The judge also fined Griner 1 million rubles, or about $16,300, as part of her sentence.
According to The New York Times, Griner’s lawyers had asked the court to take into account Griner’s personality and the role she has played in the development of Russian basketball playing for EMMC Ekaterinburg in the WNBA off-season, asking for a “milder” penalty.Addressing the court, Griner talked about her upbringing in Houston and the values her parents instilled in her, including to “take ownership for your responsibilities.”“That’s why I pleaded guilty to my charges; I understand everything that has been said against me in the charges against me, but I had no intent to break Russian law,” she said. “I want the court to understand that it was an honest mistake that I made while rushing and in stress trying to recover post-COVID and just trying to get back to my team.”Unfortunately for Griner, Russian courts are known to give harsher sentences to high-profile foreigners accused of breaking the law.
In 2020, a Russian court sentenced Trevor Reed, a former U.S. Marine, to nine years in prison for allegedly assaulting two police officers during an altercation — the harshest punishment for the charges against him.
He was released in April after being exchanged for a Russian pilot convicted in 2011 of smuggling drugs into the Untied States, as part of a prisoner swap.Additionally, Griner’s arrest, coinciding with the deterioration of U.S.-Russia relations — stemming from the United States’ support for Ukraine during the ongoing Russian invasion, and the.Read more on metroweekly.com