Army whistleblower Bradley Manning will make a statement at his trial this Wednesday, his lawyers announced, marking a highly anticipated portion of his sentencing hearing as his defense runs down the home stretch with a sentence expected to come as early Friday.
While Manning declined to make a statement during his trial, he declared in February pre-trial proceedings that he was motivated by a sense of ethical responsibility when he exposed U.S. war crimes and abuses, declaring, “I believed that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information … this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general.”
The 25 year old—who was convicted guilty in late July of 20 counts—could face up to 90 years in jail, in addition to the over 900 days he has already served, which included solitary confinement.
Manning will speak during the sentencing phase of his trial to make a case that he deserves a compassionate sentence that allows him to serve time for the charges simultaneously, rather than consecutively.
Last week, Manning’s defense saw small victories, as well as serious setbacks, when the judge cut his maximum sentence from 136 to 90 years yet slammed him with charges of committing federal computer fraud and violating the espionage act.
This week, his defense is calling up soldiers from Manning’s Army unit, as well as his aunt, who will testify on his behalf.
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