UPDATE: Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison. The WNBA legend is planning to appeal her sentence.
Brittney Griner’s trial for possession of cannabis oil and cartridges resumed today. Griner testified she was forced to sign documents without knowing what they said or being given an explanation of what the documents contained, upon her arrest. The WNBA legend also testified she was not given an explanation of her rights or access to lawyers when she was detained. After being interrogated for hours, she was finally allowed to hand over her personal belongings to a lawyer, before being handcuffed and put into a cell.
Griner also testified the court appointed interpreter only translated a “fraction” of the transcription of Griner’s police interrogation following her arrest in February. Griner admitted to having used vape cartridges and cannabis oil to alleviate chronic pain but did not know how they ended up in her bag. The basketball legend said she had been really stressed out having recently recovered from Covid-19, and packed quickly before leaving. She says she may have inadvertently put the cartridges in her bag because she was moving so fast in order to make the 13-hour flight. Griner also stated she had no criminal intent with the cannabis oil and cartridges.
Griner faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of transporting drugs. The trial which has drawn international attention, began July 1 and there is no indication of when the trial will end. However, the court has authorized Griner’s detention until December 20, 2022.
Griner has played for Russia’s professional women’s team for seven years. Like many other WNBA stars who are woefully underpaid, the basketball legend plays overseas to earn additional income during the offseason.
Read The Burton Wire for updates on Brittney Griner’s trial.
This article was written by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of The Burton Wire. Follow Nsenga on Instagram or Twitter @Ntellectual or @TheBurtonWire.