Aug 19 2013
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning should spend 60 years in prison because he betrayed the U.S. by giving classified material to WikiLeaks, a prosecutor said Monday.
The soldier’s defense attorney didn’t recommend a specific punishment, but suggested any prison term shouldn’t exceed 25 years because the classification of some of the documents Manning leaked expires in 25 years.
Coombs said Manning, who was 21 when he enlisted in 2007, had limited life and military experience. His youthful idealism contributed to his belief that he could change the way the world viewed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and all future wars, by leaking the secret files, Coombs said.
“He had pure intentions at the time that he committed his offenses,” Coombs said. “At that time, Pfc. Manning really, truly, genuinely believed that this information could make a difference.”
Manning faces up to 90 years in prison, but Capt. Joe Morrow only asked the judge to sentence him to 60 years. Morrow did not say during closing arguments of the court-martial why prosecutors were not seeking the maximum punishment.
A military judge convicted Manning last month of 20 offenses, including six violations of the Espionage Act and five counts of stealing protected information.
“He’s been convicted of serious crimes,” Morrow said. “He betrayed the United States and for that betrayal, he deserves to spend the majority of his remaining life in confinement.”