Kamala Harris Deemed a ‘Hypocrite’ for Brittney Griner Comments
© Sputnik / StringerUS Vice President Kamala Harris
© Sputnik / Stringer
On Thursday, Brittney Griner, the 31-year-old American professional basketball player, was sentenced to nine years in prison after she was convicted of smuggling hash oil, an illegal substance in Russia, into the country. The nine year prison term is one of the strongest punishments possible in Russia for drug charges.
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is being accused of hypocrisy after she condemned Russia for WNBA player Brittney Griner’s prison sentence. The Phoenix Mercury player was sentenced to nine years in prison for admitting to having accidentally packed vape cartridges, allegedly used for pain management, in her luggage. Griner was also ordered to pay a one million ruble ($16,600) fine.
While U.S. President Joe Biden—along with several U.S. diplomats and government officials—called the ruling “unacceptable” and demanded Russia release Griner, Harris also condemned the conviction via Twitter, labeling the imprisonment of Griner as “wrongful.”
“With today’s sentencing, Russia continues its wrongful detention of Brittney Griner. She should be released immediately. @POTUS and I, and our entire Administration, are working every day to reunite Brittney, as well as Paul Whelan, with loved ones who miss each of them dearly,” Harris wrote on Twitter.
Social media users were quick to jump on the V.P. for her hypocrisy regarding the sentencing of Griner. During her tenure as both San Francisco’s district attorney and California’s attorney general, Harris oversaw more than 1,900 marijuana convictions, and prosecutors under her supervision convicted people on charges related to the substance at a higher rate than her predecessor.
Between 2011 and 2016 while Harris worked as California attorney general, at least 1,560 people were sent to state prisons on marijuana-related charges, according to the Washington Free Beacon. Harris was outspoken about her belief that marijuiana should not be legalized, and fought against a ballot measure to legalize it in 2010.
“Brittney Griner got 9 years for drug possession in Russia… which sounds like most of the criminal sentences Kamala Harris got people for the same thing when she was attorney general of California,” author Tim Young tweeted in response to Harris’ comments.
“You locked up people for possession of marijuana. And you’re only condemning this because the US cannot profit from her incarceration in Russia,” wrote another Twitter user.
Griner’s attorneys are working to appeal the verdict and the sentencing, while the media suspects there may be a prisoner trade between the U.S. and Russia.