U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning has been sentenced to 35 years in military prison on Wednesday morning after getting convicted of 20 counts related to leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks. The documents were mostly diplomatic cables. Manning will also forfeit his pay and allowances. He is also seeing his rank being reduced to private and is being dishonorably discharged.
Manning did not show any reaction once the sentence was read. Several spectators gasped after the charges were read and a group of supporters shouted that he was their hero when he was escorted by armed guards.
Prosecutors were hoping for a sentence of at least 60 years. Prosecutor Capt. Joe Morrow said in court that “there may not be a soldier in the history of the Army who displayed such extreme disregard” for missions.
Mannings’ lawyer David Coombs asked for a term of under 25 years and argued that he had “pure intentions” and believed that the information “could make a difference.”
Manning is going to receive credit for the 3.5 years he spent in custody waiting for the trial. This also includes 112 days of credit for being subjected to harsh treatment.
Manning needs to serve one-third of his sentence before being considered for parole. This means he could be potentially released in 2021.
[Source: Ars Technica]