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Obama commutes Chelsea Manning's prison sentence

Chelsea Manning was convicted and sentenced to 35-years. President Obama has commuted her sentence.
Photo credit:
nytimes.com

In one of his last acts as Commander-in-chief, President Obama has commuted transgender prison inmate Chelsea Manning’s incarceration time.

Manning’s original 35-year sentence has been shortened, and will expire on May, 17, 2017, according to the White House. 

The ex-army private was accused, then convicted of exposing sensitive U.S. military secrets to political whistleblower outlet WikiLeaks.

Lawyers for Manning are relived that President Obama has decided to abbreviate her prison sentence.

"Since she was first taken into custody, Chelsea has been subjected to long stretches of solitary confinement — including for attempting suicide — and has been denied access to medically necessary health care," said lawyer Chase Strangio in a statement. "This move could quite literally save Chelsea's life, and we are all better off knowing that Chelsea Manning will walk out of prison a free woman, dedicated to making the world a better place and fighting for justice for so many."

Manning has tried several times to take her own life while in prison. She has said she felt her life was in danger within the all-male compund.

After her conviction in 2013, Manning's lawyers issued a release stating that their client identifies as a woman and all media should respect her wishes to be addressed with the right pronouns. 

Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director of Equality Federation said in a statement she applauds President Obama's decison to release Manning early. 

"She has served more time in prison than any whistleblower in United States history, and, like many other transgender prisoners, was treated unfairly on multiple occasions based on her gender identity and expression," said Isaacs.