The sentencing phase of Bradley Manning’s court-martial continued Tuesday with a military judge deciding to cut the maximum amount of time the Army private could spend in prison from 136 years to 90 years. Manning was convicted on an array of charges last week in connection with his role in releasing hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. documents to the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks. However, he was found not guilty of aiding the enemy, which was the most serious of the charges.
In response to defense attorneys’ objections that the prosecution was “overreaching” in seeking separate sentences for all the espionage charges, Judge Col. Denise Lind found that some counts resulted from the same offenses and should be merged to avoid “an unreasonable multiplication of charges.”
The defense acknowledged Manning downloaded diplomatic and military files on different days, but said he grouped many of them into single files before transmitting them in 2010 to WikiLeaks, a pro-transparency website.
...The judge granted only the part of the defense team’s request to merge the offenses and said that for most of the espionage charges resulting from the transmissions, “there is no evidence of prosecutorial overreaching.”