Griner Pleads Gulity

What’s Next?

Britnney Griner

“I’d like to plead guilty, your honor,” Brittney Griner said, “But there was no intent. I didn’t want to break the law.”

After being detained, going through a customs checkpoint for having vape cartridges in her luggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in February, Griner has now opted to plead guilty to cannabis charges in a Russian court on Thursday. She now faces up to 10 years in a Russian prison.

According to reports, Griner told the court that she packed in haste, and carried the substances unintentionally. Griner’s next court hearing is scheduled for July 14.

On July 4th, a handwritten letter from the two-time Olympic gold medalist, was delivered to the White House.

It said, “As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I’m terrified I might be here forever,” Griner wrote. “On the 4th of July, our family normally honors the service of those who fought for our freedom, including my father who is a Vietnam War Veteran. It hurts thinking about how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me this year.”

“I realize you are dealing with so much, but please don’t forget about me and the other American Detainees. Please do all you can to bring us home. I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you. I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore. I miss my wife! I miss my family! I miss my teammates! It kills me to know they are suffering so much right now. I am grateful for whatever you can do at this moment to get me home.”

According to the White House, “The President called Cherelle (Griner’s wife) to reassure her that he is working to secure Brittney’s release as soon as possible, as well as the release of Paul Whelan and other US nationals who are wrongfully detained or held hostage in Russia and around the world,” the White House said in a statement published by CNN. “He also read her a draft of the letter the President is sending to Brittney Griner today.”

Since her arrest, an international outcry from celebrities, politicians, family, and other supporters has constantly cried for her release; many believe Griner’s detention and trial are being used by Russia as political leverage as the conflict in Ukraine continues.

While her guilty plea may seem troubling for Griner’s case, it’s actually a step in the right direction as this now makes Griner eligible for a prisoner swap between Russia and the US. According to NBC News, Moscow wants to exchange Griner for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout who is currently serving a 25-year sentence in America. Whether this deal will take place is anyone’s guess.


By Jeremiah Griffith, Junior, Noble Academy

Instagram: theballtalk1

Written by Jeremiah Griffith

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