Bradley Manning, the 25-year-old private convicted of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, has been sentenced to 35 years in prison, a military judge ruled today. Manning was convicted of multiple charges, including violations of the Espionage Act, and faced up to 90 years in prison. The government had asked for a 60-year sentence to “send a message to any soldier contemplating stealing classified information.” Manning will get 1,293 days credited toward his sentence for the time he has already spent in prison, including 112 days for being subjected to abusive treatment and solitary confinement.
"Judge Denise Lind, an Army colonel, said Manning was dishonorably discharged. He was also reduced in rank and forfeits all pay.
Manning stood at attention, flanked by his attorneys, to hear the verdict with his aunt, Debra Van Alstyne, sitting behind him. He did not appear to react when the sentence was read.
As Manning was escorted out of the packed courtroom, more than half a dozen supporters shouted out to him, “We’ll keep fighting for you, Bradley! You’re our hero!”
The decision was immediately condemned by the American Civil Liberties Union.
“When a soldier who shared information with the press and public is punished far more harshly than others who tortured prisoners and killed civilians, something is seriously wrong with our justice system,” said Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project."
Manning is required to serve one-third of the sentence, minus three and half years of time served, before he is eligible for parole. That will be in eight years when he is 33.