Manning to go free May 17
President Obama on Tuesday commuted the remainder of Chelsea Manning’s prison sentence, ensuring the former Army soldier will be released this May instead of in 2045.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., blasted President Obama’s decision to commute the sentence of Chelsea Manning on Tuesday.
“This is outrageous,” Ryan said. “Chelsea Mannings treachery put American lives at risk and exposed some of our nation’s most sensitive secrets.”
Washington Examiner reports,
Manning was convicted of leaking sensitive information about American military and diplomatic activities to the government transparency site WikiLeaks in 2010.
Manning was originally sentenced to 35 years in prison and moved to solitary confinement after attempting suicide in an Army prison last July. Manning has been pushing the military to cover the expenses of a sex reassignment surgery Manning hopes to have. Manning was known as Bradley Manning when he was caught leaking the information.
The Manning commutation was one of 209 sentences Obama commuted on Tuesday. He also pardoned 64 inmates Tuesday, bringing his total to 212.
The last minute clemency move brings Obama’s commutation total to 1,385 federal prisoners, more than any of the last 12 presidents combined.
More than 16,000 clemency petitions were filed by prisoners over the past two years. Justice Department officials reviewed them and then sent their final recommendations to the president ahead of the end of his second term.
Chase Strangio, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT Project representing Manning, said he was “relieved and thankful.”
“This move could quite literally save Chelsea’s life, and we are all better off knowing that Chelsea Manning will walk out of prison a free woman, dedicated to making the world a better place and fighting for justice for so many,” Strangio said in a statement.
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