Today, the Associated Press is reporting that Army Pfc. Bradley Manning has been sentenced to 35 years in prison. Manning was convicted of giving thousands of confidential military and diplomatic files to WikiLeaks. The Manning case is seen as one the nations largest illegal disclosures since the Pentagon Papers that was commissioned in 1968.
Manning, a former intelligence officer was found guilty last month of 20 crimes which includes, six violations of the Espionage Act. Manning had been found to have disclosed these documents due to the crackdown by the Obama administration on media leaks.
Manning was found not guilty of the gravest of the charges, Aiding the enemy , which if found guilty could have brought a life sentence.
Manning will get credit for time served which is about 3 years. Manning could have been sentenced to more than 60 years on the charges he was found guilty of. Manning’s attorney, David E. Coombs, had argued for 25 years due to the fact the disclosures that Manning made would be declassified by then. One of the prosecutors had argued for the stiffer penalty to set a warning to others.
Military Judge, Col. Denis Lind announced the decision without explanation but with a warning to those in the courtroom that any outbursts to the decision would result in expulsion from the area.
During the sentencing phase of the trial, Manning had stated that he did not think of the damage that was done but that his decision was based on the idea that he would be helping or saving people. He leaked the documents, he said, to create conversation about the policy of the United States and their military decisions. Defense attorney Coombs suggested that Manning committed the acts as a part of youthful idealism.
Manning will have to serve at least one third of his sentence before he will be eligible for parole
Links: Prosecutor asks judge to give Manning 60 years - Yahoo! News News.google.com