December 14, 2016

Question of the Week: Should President Obama Commute Chelsea Manning’s Sentence?

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

Chelsea Manning has already served more prison time than any government whistleblower in U.S. history—and still has 29 years to go.  According to her attorneys and supporters, this unusually long sentence is being served under such harsh conditions that Ms. Manning has attempted suicide at least twice.  Ms. Manning is now asking President Obama to reduce her sentence to the six-plus years she has already served.  On December 10, Ms. Manning’s petition received the 100,000 signatures required to force a White House response.

As the only person to ever receive a decades-long sentence for blowing the whistle on government misconduct, Ms. Manning is asking for a commuted sentence not as a “pardon” but as a release “from military prison after serving six years of confinement as a person who did not intend to harm the interests of the United States or harm any service members.”  Famous government whistleblowers including Daniel Ellsberg have supported her cause, in addition to a plethora of civil-rights organizations.  By contrast, Ms. Manning’s detractors denounce her as a traitor for divulging government secrets.

What do you think?  Should President Obama Commute Chelsea Manning’s Sentence?

Should President Obama Commute Chelsea Manning’s Sentence?

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