Manning sentenced to 35 years for giving US secrets to Wikileaks
(CNN) — A military judge on Wednesday morning sentenced Army Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison.
In addition, his rank is being reduced, and he will forfeit all pay and benefits and be dishonorably discharged.
The former Army intelligence analyst was convicted in July of stealing 750,000 pages of classified documents and videos and disseminating them to WikiLeaks.
Prosecutors have said Manning acted as a “determined insider” in leaking classified information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and should be locked up for at least 60 years.
Manning’s lawyer contends he can be rehabilitated and should not “rot in jail.”
“There may not be a soldier in the history of the Army who displayed such an extreme disregard” for his mission, Capt. Joe Morrow, the prosecutor, said Monday during final sentencing arguments.
Manning’s arrogance, Morrow said, meant that he “felt he alone was knowledgeable and intelligent enough to determine what information was to be classified.”
Morrow asked that Manning, 25, serve a minimum sentence of six decades behind bars, saying his actions created grave risk, disrupted diplomatic missions and endangered lives.
Defense attorney David Coombs did not ask for a specific sentence, but said that his client was an excellent candidate for rehabilitation and that he should not be left to “rot in jail.”
“Perhaps his biggest crime was that he cared about the loss of life that he was seeing and couldn’t ignore it,” he said of Manning’s decision to turn over the explosive information to WikiLeaks.
“This is a young man capable of being redeemed,” Coombs said in final remarks. “The defense requests, after the court considers all the facts, a sentence that allows him to have a life.”
Manning avoided a potential life sentence when Lind rejected charges that his actions aided the enemy.
In addition to prison, prosecutors also want Manning to forfeit pay and benefits and pay a $100,000 fine.
Officials indicated a single sentence would cover all of the guilty counts.
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