President Obama Commutes Bulk of Chelsea Manning’s Sentence, Along with Sentences of 273 Others

by Joan McCarter –

President Obama has commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the Army intelligence analyst who leaked American military and diplomatic activities in 2010.

The decision by Mr. Obama rescued Ms. Manning, who twice tried to commit suicide last year, from an uncertain future as a transgender woman incarcerated at the male military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. She has been jailed for nearly seven years, and her 35-year sentence was by far the longest punishment ever imposed in the United States for a leak conviction.

Now, under the terms of Mr. Obama’s commutation announced by the White House on Tuesday, Ms. Manning is set to be freed in five months, on May 17 of this year, rather than in 2045.

In addition to Manning’s commutation, Obama gave another 273 individuals a shot at new lives today.

Today, 273 individuals learned that the President has given them a second chance. With today’s 209 grants of commutation, the President has now commuted the sentences of 1,385 individuals—the most grants of commutation issued by any President in this nation’s history. President Obama’s 1,385 commutation grants—which includes 504 life sentences – is also more than the total number of commutations issued by the past 12 presidents combined. And with today’s 64 pardons, the President has now granted a total of 212 pardons.Today, 209 commutation recipients – including 109 individuals who had believed they would live out their remaining days in prison – learned that they will be rejoining their families and loved ones, and 64 pardon recipients learned that their past convictions have been forgiven. These 273 individuals learned that our nation is a forgiving nation, where hard work and a commitment to rehabilitation can lead to a second chance, and where wrongs from the past will not deprive an individual of the opportunity to move forward. Today, 273 individuals—like President Obama’s 1,324 clemency recipients before them—learned that our President has found them deserving of a second chance.

He also like saved one life, Chelsea Manning’s.

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos