Opinion: The U.S. May Do a 2-for-2 Prisoner Swap to Get Griner & Whelan out of Russia

Daniella Cressman

As you've probably heard, WNBA star Brittney Griner has been arrested and jailed in Russia for "deliberately smuggling drugs into the country."

In reality, she had a few vape cartridges on her that contained hashish oil.

Honestly, I do not think the punishment fits the crime, and I believe far too many minorities suffer similar fates in America that most white individuals simply do not have to endure, even though they engage in the same behavior.

Thankfully, it looks as though Brittney Griner will be released soon.

"Basketball star Brittney Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan should hopefully be released from Russia as part of a 'two-for-two' prisoner swap, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Bill Richardson said Sunday." —Mason Leib

Griner has been detained to nine years in prison, which, quite frankly, seems outrageous for the seemingly minor offense she accidentally committed.

"Griner has been detained since February and was sentenced last week to nine years in prison after she was found guilty of drug charges in a Moscow-area court; she has said she accidentally traveled with vape cartridges containing hashish oil." —Mason Leib

The other prisoner—former marine Paul Whelan—was convicted on charges of espionage which he and the U.S. deny.

"Whelan, who worked in corporate security after the Marines, was convicted of espionage -- which he and the U.S. deny." —Mason Leib

The administration has a substantial proposal—albeit a controversial one—to release Griner and Whelan from behind bars.

"Late last month, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed the administration had made a 'substantial proposal' to release Griner and Whelan, which sources told ABC News included freeing notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is serving a 25-year prison sentence in the U.S." —Mason Leib

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM

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