[JURIST] US Army [official website] Major General Jeffery S. Buchanan on Monday upheld [press release] Private Chelsea Manning’s [advocacy website; JURIST news archive] conviction and prison sentence for turning over classified information to WikiLeaks [official website]. Manning is currently serving her 35-year prison sentence in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and she could be released [TIME report] as early as February 2020 with good behavior. The case will be automatically appealed to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals [official website]. Manning’s lawyers expect the appeal to focus on the misuse of the Espionage Act [text].
Manning’s trial and other WikiLeak trials [JURIST op-eds] have garnered much debate. Last September, Manning filed for a presidential pardon of the 35-year sentence she received [JURIST reports] in August. The sentence came a month after she was found guilty [JURIST report] of violating the Espionage Act, but was acquitted of the more serious charge of “aiding the enemy.” In April the judge raised the burden of proof [JURIST report] in order to require the government to prove that Manning “knowingly” aided al Qaeda. In February Manning pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to 10 of the 22 charges against her for providing classified materials to Wikileaks. Also in February the judge dismissed a motion [JURIST report] that argued for Manning’s release based on a lack of a speedy trial.