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Thu Aug 4, 2022, 11:19 AM

WNBA star Brittney Griner convicted in Russian court of drug-smuggling with criminal intent

Source: CNN

(CNN)American WNBA star Brittney Griner was convicted in a Russian court Thursday of smuggling drugs with criminal intent, amid concerns she is being used as a political pawn in Russia's war against Ukraine.

Griner could face up to 10 years in jail for the charge, and prosecutors asked for 9.5 years in closing arguments.
Prior to the verdict, Griner apologized to the court and asked for leniency in an emotional speech.

"I never meant to hurt anybody, I never meant to put in jeopardy the Russian population, I never meant to break any laws here," Griner said in the Khimki city courthouse. "I made an honest mistake and I hope that in your ruling that it doesn't end my life here. I know everybody keeps talking about political pawn and politics, but I hope that that is far from this courtroom.

"I want to say again that I had no intent on breaking any Russian laws. I had no intent. I did not conspire or plan to commit this crime," she added.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/04/europe/brittney-griner-trial/index.html

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Reply WNBA star Brittney Griner convicted in Russian court of drug-smuggling with criminal intent (Original post)
demmiblue Thursday OP
nycbos Thursday #1
underpants Thursday #2
mitch96 Thursday #6
Delphinus Thursday #16
Mysterian Thursday #3
tulipsandroses Thursday #8
Voltaire2 Thursday #24
area51 Friday #32
Baggies Thursday #4
FakeNoose Thursday #5
padah513 Thursday #11
maxsolomon Thursday #19
EndlessWire Thursday #7
muriel_volestrangler Thursday #9
maxsolomon Thursday #15
TxGuitar Thursday #25
maxsolomon Friday #27
ripcord Thursday #26
maxsolomon Friday #28
ripcord Friday #30
maxsolomon Friday #31
Marthe48 Thursday #10
Evolve Dammit Thursday #12
frogmarch Thursday #13
keithbvadu2 Thursday #14
IronLionZion Thursday #17
DinahMoeHum Thursday #18
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Thursday #20
LittleGirl Thursday #21
Oneironaut Thursday #22
walkingman Thursday #23
maxsolomon Friday #29
walkingman Friday #33
Zeitghost Saturday #34
CTyankee Saturday #35

Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 11:20 AM

1. Can we trade her for Trump?

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Response to nycbos (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 11:21 AM

2. Trump is much more effective to Putin here

9 1/2 years for a weed vape? She is just being used as a pawn.

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Response to underpants (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 11:41 AM

6. I fear if the trade deal doesn't go well she will "accidentally" die by her own hands... nt

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Response to underpants (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 12:28 PM

16. Exactly.

I don't know what this means for Whelan either - I hope the diplomats are working on it.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 11:26 AM

3. Smuggling? Bullshit charges from fascist dictatorship Russia

She possessed some vape concentrate. STUPID STUPID STUPID There are places in the USA (South Dakota, for example) where possession of any amount of cannabis concentrate, like in a vape cartridge, is a FELONY. Having this stuff on you when you enter a foreign nation is STUPID. But I feel certain Griner was not fucking smuggling with intent. Russia can go fuck themselves.

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Response to Mysterian (Reply #3)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 11:47 AM

8. I am not convinced that there was even anything in that Vape

Last edited Thu Aug 4, 2022, 02:55 PM - Edit history (1)

I will wait for BG to tell her own story when she is no longer under duress. I am not convinced that it was missed at an American airport, and then found at a Russian airport. Possible. But I will wait to hear from BG herself. At this point, I don’t know if she is saying what needs to be said to move the case along to get to the next step for a prisoner swap. One thing that is hardly reported is that her drug screen was negative. She does not deny using, but a negative drug test would mean she hadn’t used in at least a month. I get that she is not charged with using. Russia just does not get the benefit of doubt in my book.
Hopefully BG will be home soon to tell her own story as well as all the other American hostages.

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Response to Mysterian (Reply #3)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 06:42 PM

24. Our drug laws are just as insane.

Of course this is a political persecution, but our federal, and many states laws over possession of pot are draconian and can escalate simple possession to trafficking charges based on many factors besides ‘an intent’ to distribute.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #24)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 12:17 PM

32. +1

I don't know how the US govt can say with a straight face that Griner's sentence is outrageous, when they do the same thing here and MJ remains schedule 1.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 11:36 AM

4. She won't serve the full term

We’ll trade her for a currently held Russian spy and a player to be named later.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 11:39 AM

5. Remember in 1980 when Paul McCartney got arrested in Japan?

He was carrying about 1/2 pound of marijuana in his luggage, and got caught almost immediately. The Japanese authorities weren't very happy about it either.

Brittney Griner needs a nanny or something, because she has made some rather poor choices. However I do believe that she will be gotten out of Russia in a prisoner swap. In fact that was probably the reason Griner was arrested in the first place. The Russians needed an American prisoner to trade for somebody they want to get back. How nice that Griner "volunteered" to help them out.

My point is that Paul McCartney was a way bigger celebrity than Brittney Griner, but he still got caught. He paid a very large fine and left Japan on the first flight out.

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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #5)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 12:16 PM

11. So she needs a nanny, huh?

Everybody makes mistakes dude. I'd even venture that you've made a couple yourself. I know I have. Never had anyone tell me I needed a nanny, though. A little empathy can go a long way. Or have we all been so indoctrinated by Trump and his Maga stoolies that showing a little compassion for others is no longer the way we do things anymore? Just saying.

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Response to padah513 (Reply #11)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 12:57 PM

19. it's possible to have empathy for her

and still think transporting illicit substances into an paranoid, war-mongering authoritarian state is a more than an "everybody makes mistakes" mistake. it's a fuck-up, and Griner knows it.

she doesn't need a nanny; she needs to "handle her business", as the sports cliché goes. i'm confident she will after this ordeal is over.

she'll never go back to Russia; i doubt any WNBA players will.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 11:46 AM

7. Adds pressure

to making a deal for her. If we agreed to release an arms dealer, and Germany agreed to give up their murderer, would she get free, or would they just add on another demand?

And, what of those hundreds of Ukrainian citizens abducted by Russia from their fake, lowdown war? Russia is despicable, and we will not forget, ever.

From someone who once loved Russia, eff them and the horse they rode in on.

Hang tough, BG.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 11:48 AM

9. sentenced to 9 years (update at OP source)

(CNN)[Breaking news update, 11:30 a.m. ET]

American WNBA star Brittney Griner has been sentenced by a Russian court to 9 years of jail time, Judge Anna Sotnikova of the Khimki city court said Thursday.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #9)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 12:27 PM

15. Now the swap can commence.

Stoner basketball player for Viktor Bout will be the basic outline of the deal. Hopefully they get Paul Whelan out - it would be pretty fucked up if the US could only get one or the other.

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Response to maxsolomon (Reply #15)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 08:49 PM

25. You do realize

That she had only 0.7 grams, right? Hardly a stoner.

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Response to TxGuitar (Reply #25)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 10:37 AM

27. that's the narrative.

it's not the amount of cannabis you possess that makes you a stoner.


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Response to maxsolomon (Reply #15)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 09:30 PM

26. They left Whelan behind before

If they have to choose between the two they will choose Griner just because of the publicity and optics.

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Response to ripcord (Reply #26)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 10:39 AM

28. Whelan is kind of shady, but I think they'd let Griner sit for a bit

to get them both out.

They're both pawns.

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Response to maxsolomon (Reply #28)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 10:46 AM

30. It doesn't matter what you think of Whelan

The State Department has declared him wrongfully detained so they have the same obligations to Whelan as they do Griner.

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Response to ripcord (Reply #30)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 11:22 AM

31. i didn't say my opinion mattered.

i said the US wants to get them both out.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 12:02 PM

10. Not a fair cop

What a travesty of law and justice.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 12:17 PM

12. All over fucking weed, whether McCartney or Griner. Reefer Madness insanity

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 12:26 PM

13. I am shocked, I tell you. Shocked.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 12:27 PM

14. A minor crime can become major when it becomes part of a political pissing contest.

A minor crime can become major when it becomes part of a political pissing contest.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 12:33 PM

17. Criminal intent is BS. it was for personal use

damn Russians

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 12:43 PM

18. I severely doubt she'll serve more than a year, much less nine.

A perspective from sportswriter Dave Zirin of The Nation magazine. . .



An absolute f****** outrage. One light of hope is that the sentencing was always going to happen before any kind of hostage swap with the United States. This could have dragged on until December in court. Hopefully the sentencing means a swap is imminent.


(boldface emphasis mine)

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 01:15 PM

20. Biden: Griner's nine-year sentence 'unacceptable'

President Joe Biden said Thursday that the guilty verdict and nine-year sentence handed by a Russian court to American basketball star Brittney Griner is "unacceptable," calling for her immediate release.

"My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely," Biden said.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who discussed a proposal to bring the American detainees home with his Russian counterpart last week, said Griner's sentencing "further compounds the injustice of her wrongful detention."

"This step puts a spotlight on our significant concerns with Russia’s legal system and the Russian government’s use of wrongful detentions to advance its own agenda, using individuals as political pawns," Blinken said.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/biden-griner-s-nine-year-sentence-unacceptable/ar-AA10iZ8X

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 01:20 PM

21. She's served 5 months so that portion served

The 9 years and fine is b.s. dictated by Putin. Who else?
She had less than a gram supposedly. We’ll never know for sure.
How do you intentionally use less than a gram to distribute as narcotics?
Come on!
She’s a political pawn being used by Putin. One week before he invaded Ukraine.

She has served 5 months, let her go!
I’m so mad at Putin! This is his doing!

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 01:23 PM

22. Wow. So shocking!

😊

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Thu Aug 4, 2022, 01:44 PM

23. The US has it's own house to clean up.

A first-offense marijuana possession carried a minimum sentence of 2-10 years with a fine of up to $20,000 in the 50's and even into the 60's.

Here are some contemporary examples of Weed ignorance in the US.

Why cannabis still considered a "Schedule 1" drug?

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Response to walkingman (Reply #23)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 10:41 AM

29. Because the political consequences of changing its scheduling

outweigh the benefits.

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Response to maxsolomon (Reply #29)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 02:54 PM

33. Yep, forgot human live are expendable. Wonder just who it would offend?

Maybe old people who are convinced that it is worse that alcohol? Or maybe just the self-righteous?

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Aug 6, 2022, 11:57 AM

34. Her first mistake

Was working for war mongering Russian Oligarchs. WNBA players (and other athletes) don't make significantly more money in Russia because women's basketball is so much more popular there. They are willing and active participants in a criminal network of money laundering and other crimes. She decided to look the other way to enrich herself with blood money and it backfired.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Aug 6, 2022, 12:24 PM

35. Let's get the swap deal done. Signed, sealed, delivered!

ANOTHER triumph for Biden, heading into the off-year election season! If done right, I predict a great off year election for Dems!

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