Military / Military Law, Politics, Trials

Bradley Manning Sentenced

Following last month’s verdict, Bradley Manning has now been sentenced.

A military judge found the Army Private First Class — on trial for leaking documents to WikiLeaks — guilty of multiple espionage charges last month, though acquitted Manning on the most serious “we get to kill you now” charge of aiding the enemy.

The government sought 60 years (of a possible 90) in prison.

It fell a tad short…

Manning will serve 35 years less 1,293 days for time served. This includes 112 days of credit for abusive treatment that the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture deemed “cruel and inhumane” at the Marine Corps brig in Quantico. The L.A. Times notes:

Manning, 25, likely will be moved to the Army’s central prison in Ft. Leavenworth, Kan. In the months ahead, his attorneys plan to file appeals against his conviction and petition for his release.

In addition, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, who heads the Military District of Washington D.C., must approve the judge’s findings in the case. He can reduce the conviction and the sentence, but he can’t increase them.

The judge, Col. Denise Lind, was remarkably even-handed throughout the court martial. Disappointing both those who view Manning as a hero — who must now hope President Obama will have a total personality change and ease up on crushing the souls of whistleblowers — and those that think Manning should be locked away forever for presuming that Americans had some sort of right to know what’s being done in their names, Col. Lind avoided the temptation to convict Manning of aiding the enemy and merged charges to reduce the total possible sentence before nearly halving the sentence prosecutors sought.

If Col. Lind is representative of the system, it really makes you wonder if the breathless push to end military tribunals and move all of these trials to Article III courts is really justified. I’d be much more comfortable relying on Col. Lind to provide a fair trial than some federal judges.

Wikileaks trial: Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years in prison [LA Times]
Bradley Manning Sentenced To 35 Years In Prison [Buzzfeed]
Ten Things You Should Know About The Federal Judge Accused Of Racism [Think Progress]

Earlier: Bradley Manning Thinks He Knows Best: The Hubris of a Leaker
Professional Benchslapper Gets Admonished By Fifth Circuit Over His Own Racial Insensitivity

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