Manning Update: Now only 90

Refer back to what I said here under #3. It concerns multiplicity for sentencing.

Defense did make such motions (they’d have been crazy not to do so), and the military judge agreed to the extent that Manning’s maximum possible punishment is reduced from 130ish years of total confinement to:

Reduction to the pay grade of E-1, total forfeiture of all pay and allowances, 90 years of confinement and a dishonorable discharge.

As before, the minimum possible sentence is as follows:

No punishment.

I give both of these because many news outlets like to tout the maximum punishment due to the shock value they may elicit. Ken White at Popehat often bristles when maximum punishments are presented in a way that makes them appear to be the most likely punishment, and my reaction is similar, if not identical. In reality, the maximum possible punishment is rarely given, though it is possible. It all depends on evidence presented in aggravation, mitigation, and extenuation. That’s why the sentencing phase of a court-martial is akin to a trial in itself.


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