On August 4, 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden printed a proper assertion in regards to the sentencing of U.S. basketball participant Brittney Griner. Griner was simply sentenced to 9 years in a Russian penal colony and fined a million rubles. We’ve written about Griner’s case earlier than (right here and right here), however to summarize, she may very well be spending the following decade locked up in Russia for unintentionally bringing hashish vapes into the nation. President Biden’s assertion is brief, so I’ll copy the total textual content beneath:
At the moment, American citizen Brittney Griner acquired a jail sentence that’s yet another reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney. It’s unacceptable, and I name on Russia to launch her instantly so she could be along with her spouse, family members, mates, and teammates. My administration will proceed to work tirelessly and pursue each attainable avenue to convey Brittney and Paul Whelan house safely as quickly as attainable.
Everyone knows that Griner’s harsh therapy has loads to do with america’ help of Ukraine in its invasion by Russia. It appears unlikely that she would have acquired such a harsh sentence had this occurred a 12 months in the past. However the truth stays that it’s nonetheless attainable in Russia (and many of the world) to face a decade in jail for one thing anybody in most U.S. states can legally carry.
President Biden’s administration is working to dealer a prisoner swap for Griner, so she could not serve her total sentence in Russia. That’s in no way assured, and Russia could get again a convicted arms seller in consequence.
We hope that President Biden can take what he’s realized in Griner’s case – that it’s unsuitable to detain somebody for hashish possession – and focus extra power on making legalization occur right here. As we’ve got recognized for years, he has not been significantly keen on hashish and never a lot has modified federally since he took workplace, regardless of all the guarantees.
Most of all, we hope that Griner might be rapidly launched and get to return house to america. What a travesty.