Author

Dee Jones

Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning Prison Sentence

The White House says that Manning is one of 209 inmates whose sentences Obama is shortening.

Chelsea Manning / Uncredited / AP

According to experts, commutations and pardons cannot be undone by Donald Trump after he is sworn in Friday as the nation’s 45th president.

Manning is set to be freed from Fort Leavenworth Penitentiary in Kansas in five months, on May 17 of this year, rather than in 2045, The New York Times reports.

Her lawyers said in her nearly seven years behind bars, she had already served the longest sentence of anyone convicted of leaking secrets in United States history.

Many of the mainstream media reports included a detail irrelevant to her imprisonment: her former first name, given at birth. The military reluctantly agreed to adopt her chosen first name, Chelsea, in her medical records, although an Army doctor refused to change her gender marker.

What about Edward Snowden?

A White House spokesman told reporters there was a “pretty stark difference” between Manning’s plea for mercy and Snowden’s, noting what he called “some important differences.”

“Chelsea Manning is somebody who went through the military criminal justice process, was exposed to due process, was found guilty, was sentenced for her crimes, and she acknowledged wrongdoing,” Earnest said. “Mr. Snowden fled into the arms of an adversary, and has sought refuge in a country that most recently made a concerted effort to undermine confidence in our democracy.”