Manning Wins Rare Victory in Court

Judge reduces maximum possible sentence to 90 years
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2013 2:55 PM CDT
FILE - In this July 30, 2013 file photo, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md. after receiving a verdict in his court martial. Few Americans in living memory have...   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

(Newser) – A kind of victory for Bradley Manning's defense: The Wikileaker convicted of 20 of 22 counts will face a maximum of 90 rather than 136 possible years in prison, the Guardian reports. His lawyers argued that the prosecution had split several of Manning's crimes into multiple violations, increasing the possible sentence. The court martial judge, Colonel Denise Lind, granted all but two of the defense's requests to merge the counts.

But Lind—who is said to read aloud at a rapid 180 words per minute—spoke too quickly for reporters to record details of the ruling. "Judge Lind recitation of her ruling on merging of sentencing charges was ridiculously fast. NO respect for the public and press," tweeted one journalist. Next up for Manning: the sentencing period, a kind of mini-trial that should run for at least two weeks and include more than 20 defense witnesses. (Read more Bradley Manning stories.)

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