If I might be so bold as to weigh in on the subject, the following illustration hits home with what has been my biggest complaint with the entire media circus that surrounded the entirety of Brittney Griner's arrest and subsequent incarceration: she's nothing but a celebrity, and a minor one at that, so I failed to understand the constant hype around "getting her home."
Despite the Vice President's comments about Griner being "wrongfully detained", at the end of the day - Griner broke Russia's laws, and as such she deserved to be punished according to their laws. We might not like those laws, but our nation would do the same if a foreign national broke our laws while on our soil. Do I think Griner's prison sentence was considerably longer than it should have been? Heck yes, and diplomacy should have been used to reduce Griner's sentence to something a little more reasonable.
Of course, in hindsight we see the ulterior purpose behind Griner's sentence - it was a poker move. Putin knew that if the punishment was far too excessive for Griner's minor crime, he could force the United States to do something unreasonable in order to rectify what was clearly an unjust situation - which we did. The United States traded a major criminal, who will undoubtedly return to his prior life of crime, in order to free a celebrity whom most people couldn't pick out of a lineup.
Adding insult to injury, however, is the fact that the United States attempted to free retired U.S. Marine Paul Whelan or schoolteacher Marc Fogel as part of this prisoner exchange, and rather than forcing the Russians back to the negotiating table, the US acquiesced to Russia's terms. There are SOOOO many things wrong with what happened here.
First of all, Putin stared down the USA, and the USA blinked. The key takeaway for everyone around the globe who opposes the USA is: the USA is weak and easily manipulated. From a statecraft perspective, the Brittney Griner prisoner exchange was an utter failure from the point of view that matters most; e.g. foreign perceptions of the USA.
What's more, however, is the USA has shown once again how anyone who ISN'T a celebrity doesn't matter. If the USA could have traded for just one prisoner, that ABSOLUTELY SHOULD have been Paul Whelan, who has been held by Russia for four years, or Marc Fogel, whose crime and sentence were nearly identical to Griner's. Instead, the weak-minded and weak-kneed imbeciles who headed up this political debacle threw the non-celebrities to the wolves, and opted to bring home the prisoner who would get them on the 6 o'clock news.
In the end, that's the part that hurts the worst: this administration has demonstrated, once again, that the common man has less worth than canine feces to those who could make a difference. This entire affair has been nothing but a cheap public relations stunt for the Biden administration; let everyone else and the country be damned.