American WNBA basketball star Brittney Griner was convicted of smuggling and possessing drugs into Russia earlier this week. Due to her conviction, she was sentence to roughly nine years of jail time.
The judge, Anna Sotnikova of the Khimki city court delivered the sentence on Thursday and tacked on an additional 1 million ruble fine along with her sentence. Griner is expected to pay the 1 million rubles ($16,400) and face her time unless a barter is made from the US government.
The prosecutors in the case asked for Griner to be sentenced to 9.5 years in jail. Prior to her verdict, Griner apologized to the court and asked for leniency from the government.
“I never meant to hurt anybody, I never meant to put in jeopardy the Russian population, I never meant to break any laws here…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,”
This verdict was issued roughly 6 months after Griner was arrested for smuggling less than 1 gram of cannabis oil in her luggage.
Griner’s legal team has said they will appeal the verdict within the next 10 days. Along with this appeal, Griner’s lawyer said that average jail time for this type of offense is about 5 years with 1/3 of those convicted getting parole.
Read the whole article from CNN here.