Bradley Manning was convicted last month after sending hundreds of thousands of confidential files to the anti-secrecy group, Wikileaks. Early this morning, Manning was sentenced to 35 years on counts of espionage, theft, and computer fraud. Manning’s lawyer has released a statement to the press vowing to appeal to the President of the United States to pardon, or at least commute, his sentence.
Manning received his hefty sentence stoically while his family looked greatly distressed. Private Manning reportedly turned to his lawyer and family and promised, 'It's OK. I'm going to move forward and I'm going to be all right'."
It is unlikely that Manning will serve the entirety of his sentence. He has already served three of his 35-year sentence and some of his time may be commuted due to his harsh treatment. If released on good behavior and able to serve the duration of his term on parole, Manning could be in prison for only eight years. Still, this sentence is by far the longest ever levied against a U.S. official convicted of leaking governmental documents.
David Coombs, Manning’s attorney held a press conference shortly after the sentence was released. He confirmed that Manning will officially send a personal plea to President Obama. Coombs read out Manning’s personal appeal as part of what the letter will say;
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“When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love to my country and a sense of duty to others," Manning will tell Obama. "If you deny my request for a pardon, I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society."