Army: Manning's 35-Year Sentence Will Stand
Clears way for an automatic appeal
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 14, 2014 1:47 PM CDT
In this Tuesday, July 2, 2013, file photo, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., during the fifth week of his court-martial.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

(Newser) – An Army general has upheld Private Chelsea Manning's conviction and 35-year prison sentence for giving reams of classified US government information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, the Army said today. The approval by Maj. Gen. Jeffery Buchanan, commander of the Military District of Washington, clears the way for an automatic appeal of the case to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals. Manning's appellate lawyers said yesterday that they expect their appeal to focus on issues including alleged misuse of the Espionage Act.

The 26-year-old native of Crescent, Okla., was sentenced in August for six Espionage Act violations and 14 other offenses. Buchanan, as commander of the jurisdiction in which the trial was held, had the option of approving or reducing the court-martial findings. Manning is serving her sentence at Fort Leavenworth; her lawyer says that with good behavior, she could be released as early as February 2020.