NEW: Judge tentatively plans to announce sentence Wednesday morning
Prosecution calls Manning a "determined insider" in largest leak of classified information
Defense says Manning is an excellent case for rehabilitation
He faces up to 90 years behind bars
A military judge plans to announce Wednesday morning what sentence she’ll give Pfc. Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army intelligence analyst who stands convicted of what prosecutors believe was the biggest leak of classified materials in Army history.
The judge, Army Col. Denise Lind, reconvened the sentencing phase of Manning’s court martial Tuesday morning, and noted the soldier has 1,293 days – or 3 1/2 years – of detention credit to consider. Manning’s defense attorney previously argued that his client deserves additional consideration for the harsh conditions he suffered during part of that detention.
Lind’s deliberations officially began after court recessed Tuesday morning. Later Tuesday, she told both sides that she intends to announce a sentence at 10 a.m. ET Wednesday.
Prosecutors have said Manning acted as a “determined insider” in leaking classified information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and should be locked up for at least 60 years.
Manning’s lawyer contends he can be rehabilitated and should not “rot in jail.”
Manning faces up to 90 years behind bars. Lawyers for both sides wrapped up their sentencing arguments Monday.
“There may not be a soldier in the history of the Army who displayed such an extreme disregard” for his mission as a soldier, Capt. Joe Morrow, the prosecutor, said.
His arrogance, according Morrow, meant he “felt he alone was knowledgeable and intelligent enough to determine what information was to be classified.”
Morrow asked that Manning, 25, serve a minimum sentence of six decades behind bars, saying his actions created grave risk, disrupted diplomatic missions and endangered lives.
Defense attorney David Coombs did not ask for a specific sentence, but said his client was an excellent candidate for rehabilitation, and that he should not be left to “rot in jail.”
“Perhaps his biggest crime was that he cared about the loss of life that he was seeing and couldn’t ignore it.” Coombs said of Manning’s decision to turn over the explosive information to WikiLeaks.
“This is a young man capable of being redeemed,” Coombs said in final remarks. “The defense requests, after the court considers all the facts, a sentence that allows him to have a life.”
Manning was convicted of numerous counts in July, including espionage-related charges. He avoided a potential life sentence when Lind rejected charges that his actions aided the enemy.
In addition to prison, prosecutors also want Manning to forfeit pay and benefits and pay a $100,000 fine.
Officials indicated a single sentence would cover all of the guilty counts.