What is the latest on the Chelsea Manning court martial case?
In one of the most high-profile court martial cases over the past several years, U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning (a.k.a Chelsea Manning) was convicted following a 2013 court martial for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks – an offense which led to a conviction of espionage and several other military crimes. Accordingly, the transgender Manning is serving a 35-year sentence at the military prison known as Fort Leavenworth, where apparently she is facing additional charges for violations of the corrections code.
According to reports, Manning has been caught with several items of contraband, including an expired tube of toothpaste and a copy of Vanity Fair magazine. For these violations, Manning is facing a sentence of indefinite solitary confinement, and her legal team is concerned over whether she will experience and fair and unbiased review of her pending charges by the Leavenworth Disciplinary Board.
The high-profile nature of Manning’s original conviction has led many to speculate that she is receiving less-than-fair treatment behind bars, however several experts have asserted that Manning is being treated no differently than any other inmate. In a statement by a retired Army judge advocate and current law professor, “it is unlikely that prison officials would go after Manning just for having reading material…there has to be more behind the charges than either the military or her supporters are saying. Most discipline in the military is progressive and meted in a measured way, with the solitary confinement reserved as kind of ‘the nuclear option.’”
According to corrections data, an average of 80,000 inmates serve time in solitary confinement on any given day. However, in Manning’s case, it is unlikely she will face this extreme penalty for offenses including “possession of prohibited property in the form of books and magazines while under administrative segregation; medicine misuse over the toothpaste; disorderly conduct for sweeping food onto the floor; and disrespect.”
If you, or someone you love, are facing court martial or other military discipline and would like to discuss your options with a reputable attorney, please do not hesitate to contact Court Martial Law. We serve clients in Denver, Colorado and surrounding areas and can be reached at 719-247-3111.