Legal Expert Reveals Brittney Griner’s Motive for Pleading Guilty – Exclusive

After months of imprisonment and legal troubles in Russia, WNBA player Brittney Griner has pleaded guilty to drug charges made against her in February. However, legal experts believe this may have been a tactical move by their legal department.

Griner was first arrested on February 17 at a Moscow airport. According to the New York Times, Russian authorities claim a sniffer dog drew their attention to the basketball player’s bag. Authorities then searched the bag and claimed to have found several cannabis vape cartridges. Since May, Griner’s case has been handled by the Office of the President’s Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs, according to AP News. Her stance is that Griner was wrongly arrested, and she has since sent President Joe Biden a desperate plea to bring her home.

Given that, Griner’s subsequent guilty plea came as a shock to many following the case. However, it is worth noting that in her pleading, Griner indicated that she did not bring the cannabis oil into the country with criminal intent. Audio from the courtroom revealed to CBS News that it was just an accident. “I was in a hurry to pack… and the cartridges accidentally ended up in my bag,” Griner said. Legal expert Joshua Ritter spoke exclusively to Nicki Swift and explained why he believes Griner pleaded guilty.

Different laws make this case a tricky one

Many have wondered why Brittney Griner pleaded guilty to the drug charges. However, defense attorney and former Los Angeles prosecutor Joshua Ritter pointed out that different legal systems likely played a big part. “Griner is dealing with a country that doesn’t have the same due process as the United States,” he explained. In fact, Griner’s team probably did the best they could with their guilty plea. “[They] may have worked out a plea deal to give her a chance at a lesser sentence,” he added. Per Reuters, Griner’s attorney, Maria Blagovolina, backed that view. She said her hope for a moderate sentence given the crime was simply an act of “negligence.”

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Ritter also claimed that a guilty plea may have been Griner’s best bet given the current tensions between the US and Russia over the Ukraine crisis. He believes that Russia wants to close the case as soon as possible. Finally, “Russia knows that this case will give it bad press in the international media,” he explained. However, he was also quick to warn that a fast case doesn’t necessarily mean an easy one.

“It’s hard to argue that Griner is anything but a political pawn,” he said. “Russia will squeeze as much political juice out of it as possible.” Unfortunately, he concluded, “If that means humiliating an American athlete before she’s allowed to board a plane outside the country, I wouldn’t give them credit for it.” We hope Griner’s legal nightmare ends sooner rather than later.