Brittney Griner has been handed an outrageous prison sentence for a “crime” that in most countries on Earth would be treated as a misdemeanor offense.
Oh, but not in Russia!
Griner, a noted women’s basketball star from Texas, was caught earlier this year with some cannabis in her luggage. It was a tiny amount. She told Russian authorities of her mistake at the time, but they took her into custody anyway.
Griner then pleaded guilty to the crime of packing an illegal substance. She went on trial, was convicted of it and then received a nine-year prison term.
What an utter outrage! She is being treated as a political prisoner. Why? Because the United States of America opposes Russia’s lawless, immoral and illegal invasion of Ukraine. President Biden has called Russian thug/goon/dictator Vladimir Putin a war criminal because of his forces’ attacks on civilian targets.
For that — and not the tiny bit of drugs she was carrying — Griner is being punished.
American and Russian negotiators are working to secure her release. Indeed, Griner isn’t the only American being held unjustly. Paul Whelan is serving a prison term for espionage, which is another dubious charge.
Griner and Whelan both need to come home. Many of us are now imploring the State Department to move whatever mountain it must to secure their release.