WACO, Texas (FOX 44)- A judge found former Baylor Bear and WNBA basketball star Brittney Griner guilty of drug charges and sentenced her to nine years in prison.
District attorney Barry Johnson breaks down the process of how Griner’s case would have been handled here in the state of Texas.
“If it’s a first time offense, then you would be eligible for our pretrial intervention program. We have a program for marijuana use of small amounts,” says McLennan County District Attorney Barry Johnson.
In the pretrial intervention program, Johnson says, you are tested every day.
“If she had that little amount of marijuana here in the state of Texas and it was her first offense, well, she would go and she would never be jailed. She would be she would get a personal recognizance bond where she would guarantee that she would show up to court,” says Johnson.
Before Griner’s trial began in July, the U.S. State Department designated her as “wrongfully detained,” something that Johnson agrees with.
“What you’re seeing there is just an authoritarian government. You know that with no democracy, with no constitutional rights, where you have a right to a lawyer, you have a right to not not to have to. You’re presumed innocent until the court finds you guilty,” says Johnson.
Johnson says that while THC is mostly illegal in Texas, the amount found with Griner in Russia might not have even reached the testing threshold here.
“The Department of Public Safety, who does our drug testing here in the state of Texas, they will not even test misdemeanor amounts of marijuana or misdemeanor amounts of liquid marijuana,” says Johnson.