The plight of female basketball star Brittney Griner relating to her arrest on drug charges in Russia earlier this year is even more uncertain than ever. Yesterday in a court near Moscow, the legal prosecution of Ms. Griner finally began, with her trial kicking off in an abbreviated session. Prosecutors had intended to call on four witnesses, but only two showed up to give testimony.
Cameras were not allowed in the courtroom, but footage of Griner entering the proceedings showed her sporting a white and black Jimi Hendrix t-shirt. Media reports after the court had adjourned explained that during her time in the courtroom, Griner was kept inside of a metal jail where she had cookies and water available as refreshments.
The intention of yesterday’s goings-on was to present the Russian government’s case against Griner, at which point the judge then weighs the evidence to determine whether the prosecution’s case has merit. If Griner’s case is deemed worthy, which is widely anticipated, the trial itself will begin in earnest. Griner’s next appearance in the courtroom will be next Thursday, July 7th.
Griner’s previous vocal criticisms and disrespect of America, our flag, and our National Anthem have been well-documented here at The Blue State Conservative. Griner – who is black, gay, and worth several million dollars – was eager to dismiss her good fortune as an American when she was still living free.
She would preach about the evils of our institutions and our society while simultaneously living a comfortable lifestyle. She refused to even enter arenas for her games until after our National Anthem was played. After yesterday’s developments and the likelihood that Griner will indeed stand trial, we can only wonder if her opinions on America and our freedoms have shifted. And the more we learn about the challenges that Griner is about to face, the direr her situation appears.
What’s particularly troubling for Griner is this factoid: In Russian criminal trials, the success rate of the prosecution is 99%, giving Griner about a 1% likelihood to get off, barring any other type of side deal between the governments. To win 99% of one’s cases means there must be some pretty shrewd prosecutorial attorneys over there. Or, alternatively, perhaps those accused of crimes in Russia are not afforded the same basic rights as those of us here in the U.S. That big, bad, mean old United States that Griner likes to trash.
Many on the left and the media have put forth the idea that Griner may be nothing more than a bargaining chip: a pawn in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to humiliate America and President Joe Biden. According to the New York Times:
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“[H]er arrest on Feb. 17 — a week before the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — pulled her into the maw of geopolitics as President Vladimir V. Putin faced down a determined American-led Western effort to help Ukraine fight back against the Russian assault.
After attending the court session, Elizabeth Rood, the chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, told reporters that she had spoken with Ms. Griner. ‘She is doing as well as can be expected in these difficult circumstances and asked me to convey that she is in good spirits and is keeping up the faith,’ Ms. Rood said.
‘The Russian Federation has wrongfully detained Ms. Griner,’ she said, adding, ‘the U.S. government at the very highest levels is working very hard to bring Ms. Griner as well as all wrongfully detained U.S. citizens safely home.’”
Ms. Rood can holler all she wants about how “wrongful” Griner’s detention is. Russia is, last we checked, a sovereign nation with its own treaties, its own system of government, and its own criminal justice system. It seems highly likely at this point that Griner was in fact guilty of the charge of possessing and transporting cannabis oil. No one credible has tried to assert otherwise. What has been the focus of the objections by Griner’s supporters isn’t her innocence; their focus has been on whether she should have been charged and then detained.
But neither Brittney Griner, her attorneys, nor Elizabeth Rood gets a vote in determining what constitutes a crime in Russia. They also have no say in the structuring of Russia’s penal code: which, by the way, could put Griner behind bars for ten years. Those tasks fall on the Russian people. And the fact that Griner apparently couldn’t be bothered to respect Russia’s drug laws, despite how much she may have disagreed with them, indicates just how naïve she is. It also gives us some insight into her ignorant trashing of America while she was living here.
This weekend, while those of us here in the U.S. are celebrating our freedom and the birth of this great nation, Brittney Griner will be experiencing the opposite. While we have our barbeques, eat watermelon and hot dogs, blow off some fireworks, and play some cornhole or horseshoes, Griner will be in a small cell near Moscow, behind bars and eating Russian prison food. Let’s hope those cookies of hers are tasty, and for her sake, let’s pray she’s rethinking her previous hatred of her homeland.
By Jess Lawson
Jess Lawson is a regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative and a passionate, conservative millennial who loves America.
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