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Brittney Griner Found Guilty and Sentenced to 9 Years on Drug Charges

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Today the Russian Court hearing Brittney Griner’s drug case found her guilty of drug possession and smuggling and sentenced the WNBA star to nine years in prison.

Shortly after the prosecution asked for 9 1/2 years in their closing arguments, the court handed down their sentence.

In response, Griner’s legal team called the sentence, according to the NY Times, “absolutely unreasonable” and said “we will certainly file an appeal.”

Her defense team, consisting of Maria Blagovolina, a partner at Rybalkin Gortsunyan Dyakin, and Alexander Boykov, of Moscow Legal Center, said the court had “completely ignored all the evidence of the defense, and most importantly, the guilty plea.”

Griner and her team had told the court that this was all an innocent mistake and that she was not a drug smuggler.

Before the sentencing, she made another appeal to the court.

“I never meant to hurt anybody, I never meant to put in jeopardy the Russian population, I never meant to break any laws here,” said Griner. “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.

Continue reading over at First and Pen.

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