WNBA News – Brittney Griner

US' Women's National Basketball Association (NBA) basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and later charged with illegal possession of cannabis, holds a picture of her team as she stands inside a defendants' cage before a court hearing in Khimki outside Moscow, on August 4, 2022. - Lawyers for US basketball star Brittney Griner, who is standing trial in Russia on drug charges, said on July 26, 2022 they hoped she would receive a "lenient" sentence. Prosecutors Seek 9 1/2-Year Sentence for Griner – Russian prosecutors have asked a court outside Moscow to sentence  Brittney Griner to 9½ years in prison on cannabis possession charges. The prosecutors’ request was made during closing arguments Thursday in Griner’s trial, nearly six months after the American basketball star was arrested at a Moscow airport in a case that has reached the highest levels of U.S.-Russia diplomacy. Griner also addressed the judge Thursday, saying that she “never meant to break any law” in Russia by having vape cartridges with cannabis oil in her luggage at the time of her arrest Feb. 17 and that it was an honest mistake. “I know everybody keeps talking about ‘political pawn’ and ‘politics,’ but I hope that is far from this courtroom,” Griner said. Read more at:  https://www.espn.com/wnba/story/_/id/34345429/russian-prosecutors-request-9-1-2-year-sentence-brittney-griner (ESPN)

Update:  Inside her metal courtroom cage, a solemn, stone-faced Brittney Griner learned how long she’ll be locked away in Russian prison if the Biden administration can’t broker a deal to secure her release. A Russian judge handed down a harsh nine-year sentence on Thursday, rejecting the WNBA star’s  emotional apology and plea for leniency for the “honest mistake” of bringing less than a gram of cannabis oil into the country last February. Griner was found guilty of drug possession and drug smuggling with criminal intent. The judge fined her 1 million rubles, roughly $16,300 U.S. dollars, in addition to sentencing Griner to just shy of the maximum 10 years that she was eligible to receive. Read more at:  https://sports.yahoo.com/brittney-griner-found-guilty-in-russian-court-sentenced-to-nine-years-in-prison-152534083.html  (Jeff Eisenberg/Yahoo Sports)

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