Sunday, January 26, 2014

Free Chelsea Manning Now!


Update 01/22/14: Manning should be set free immediately, but parole could happen by 2020

Supporters have asked what options remain for Chelsea’s freedom after having been sentenced to 35 years in prison. A clemency request offers some hope, as does the upcoming appeals process, but looking beyond Chelsea’s attorney David Coombs has said there is absolutely no reason Chelsea Manning should not be set free by 2020, when she becomes eligible for parole. Chelsea sent us documentation, included here, detailing exactly what parole would entail.
Supporters calling for Chelsea's immediate release.
Supporters calling for Chelsea’s immediate release.
In the immediate future the convening authority over the trial, Maj. Gen. Buchanan, will be reviewing the trial and considering a clemency package submitted by the Defence. Buchanan has the authority to reduce the 35 year sentence, particularly on grounds that Chelsea was denied her right to a speedy trial (afforded under the Constitution and the Uniform Code of Military Justice), on the fact that the trial judge allowed the prosecution to alter its charge sheet at the end of the trial, and certainly based on the horribly disproportionate sentencing credit given to Manning when the military was judged to have unlawfully punished Manning before trial (treatment the UN rapporteur on torture called “cruel, inhuman and degrading”). However it is rare for a military Convening Authority to rule against a military Judge. Regardless supporters should sign both the Private Manning Support Network, as well as the Amnesty International, petitions. Public pressure is important.
Looking beyond the clemency appeal and upcoming appeals process, attorney David Coombs has stated that there is absolutely no reason Chelsea Manning should not be free by 2020, which is when she will be first eligible for parole. Chelsea Manning asked us to share the Parole rules and regulations, to help people understand exactly what parole will entail:

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