A very disappointing sentence

From The Washington Post:

Judge sentences Bradley Manning to 35 years

By , Updated: Wednesday, August 21, 11:17 AM E-mail the writer

A military judge on Wednesday morning sentenced Army Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

Manning, 25, was convicted last month of multiple charges, including violations of the Espionage Act for copying and disseminating the documents while serving as an intelligence analyst at a forward operating base in Iraq. He faced up to 90 years in prison.

Manning is required to serve one-third of the sentence, minus three and half years of time served, before he is eligible for parole. That will be in eight years when he is 33.

Judge Denise Lind, an Army colonel, said Manning was dishonorably discharged. He was also reduced in rank and forfeits all pay.

More at the link.

Your Editor is extremely disappointed. Mr Manning will be eligible for parole at the age of 33 — he is 25 now — and could have along and reasonably happy life after prison. Even if he serves the entire 35 years (including the 3½ years of time already served) he will be freed from Leavenworth by the time he is 56 years old, younger than your Editor is today.

Colonel Lind could have sentenced Mr Manning to 90 years in prison, effectively a life sentence. Had she done so, he would not have even been eligible for parole until he had served 26½ more years, until he was 51 years old. Now, this treacherous scumbag has the possibility of getting out of prison and mocking the country of his birth when he is still relatively young.

I sincerely hope that Mr Manning is never granted early parole, but even being released at age 56 is too early and too easy for him. I do not care if he had a rough life or he is sorry for what he did or that he was, as his defense attorney described him, “a well-intentioned but isolated soldier with gender identification issues.” I care that he betrayed his country! Nothing else is important.
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