Manning’s possible sentence was cut from 136 to 90 years.
A U.S. military judge has reduced potential prison time for Private First Class Bradley Manning to 90 years from 136 years on Tuesday.
She said that some sentences for leaking secret files to WikiLeaks should be merged.
Court-martial Judge Col. Denise Lind convicted Manning, 25, last week on 19 criminal counts, including espionage, for providing more than 700,000 secret files to WikiLeaks in the largest un-authorised release of secret data in U.S. history.
In response to defence attorneys’ objections that the prosecution was “overreaching” in seeking separate sentences for all the espionage charges, she found that some counts resulted from the same offences and should be merged to avoid “an unreasonable multiplication of charges”.
The defence acknowledged Manning downloaded diplomatic and military files on different days, but said he grouped many of them into single files before transmitting them in 2010 to WikiLeaks, a pro-transparency website.
Prosecutors argued that each download should be a separate sentencing offence.
The judge granted only the part of the defence team’s request to merge the offences and said that for most of the espionage charges resulting from the transmissions, “there is no evidence of prosecutorial overreaching.”
The sentencing phase began last week and is expected to last at least until Friday.
Manning’s lawyers have portrayed him as naive, but well intentioned.
They argued that the soldier’s aim was to provoke a broader debate on U.S. military policy, not to harm anyone.
Several Americans have volunteered to help Manning serve his eventual prison term, saying the soldier only wanted greater transparency in U.S. administration.
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