NPR : News

Alleged Leaker Manning Subjected To Illegal Pretrial Punishment, Judge Rules

(7 a.m. ET, Jan. 9: We've updated the headline and reworded the top of this post to better reflect the judge's ruling. Our earlier headline was "Judge Reduces Possible Sentence For Alleged Leaker Bradley Manning.")

At a pretrial hearing Tuesday at Fort Meade in Maryland, a military judge ruled that the Army private accused of leaking a mass of classified documents to the website WikiLeaks was subjected to illegal pretrial punishment while being held in a military prison.

Col. Denise Lind found that during the nine months Pfc. Bradley Manning spent in solitary confinement in a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., the treatment he received was "more rigorous than necessary." She credited a total of 112 days toward any prison sentence Manning receives if convicted. (More from The Associated Press here.)

Manning was kept in a windowless cell 23 hours a day, often without any clothing. Officials have said it was to keep him from harming himself.

"Jailers at the Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., have testified they considered Manning a suicide risk and that they were only trying to keep him from hurting himself and others by keeping him in a windowless, 6-by-8-foot cell for all but one hour a day."

At a previous hearing last year, Manning's lawyer, David E. Coombs, described the treatment he received like that of a "zoo animal." Manning also took the stand during that hearing and described contemplating suicide and making a noose while being held in Kuwait.

According to the AP, Lind said the conditions Manning was subjected to "became excessive in relation to legitimate government interests."

The 25-year-old intelligence analyst has been seeking to have the charges against him dropped because of the pretrial conditions he was held in.

The four-day hearing at Fort Meade will also include arguments on whether Manning's motives in leaking the documents matters. Prosecutors say his motives are irrelevant.

Manning faces life in prison if he is convicted of the more serious of the 22 charges against him, so it's unclear how a 112-day reduction could be administered if he receives the harshest sentence. In November, he offered to plead guilty to lesser charges, but a military judge has yet to rule on the offer.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Credibility Concerns Overshadow Release Of Gay Talese's New Book

NPR's Kelly McEvers speaks with Paul Farhi of the Washington Post about Gay Talese's new book, The Voyeur's Hotel. The credibility of the book, which follows a self-proclaimed sex researcher who bought a hotel to spy on his guests through ventilator windows, has been called into question after Farhi uncovered problems with Talese's story.
NPR

Amid Craft Brewery Boom, Some Worry About A Bubble — But Most Just Fear Foam

Fueled by customers' unquenchable thirst for the next great flavor note, the craft beer industry has exploded like a poorly fermented bottle of home brew.
NPR

White House Documents Number Of Civilians Killed In U.S. Drone Strikes

The Obama administration issued a long awaited report Friday, documenting the number on civilians who have been accidentally killed by U.S. drone strikes. Human rights activists welcome the administration's newfound transparency, though some question whether the report goes far enough.
NPR

Tesla 'Autopilot' Crash Raises Concerns About Self-Driving Cars

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a fatal crash involving a Tesla car using the "autopilot" feature. NPR's Robert Siegel talks to Alex Davies of Wired about the crash and what it means for self-driving car technology.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.