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Petition to Commute Chelsea Manning's Sentence Passes Threshold For White House Response

Image: Petition to Commute Chelsea Manning's Sentence Passes Threshold For White House Response

 Chelsea Manning (U.S. Army via Reuters)

By    |   Sunday, 11 Dec 2016 04:48 PM

A petition asking President Barack Obama to commute the 35-year prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the former Army analyst convicted for leaking classified government documents, has passed the 100,000 mark needed to elicit an official response from the White House, The Hill reports.

Manning, who has served six years of the sentence, celebrated by posting tweets to her backers.

The petition is hosted on the White House's "We the People" site, which promises an "official update from the White House within 60 days" for a request that receives more than 100,000 signatures within 30 

Manning, who is transgender, requested clemency from Obama last month citing harsh treatment in jail, which she said led to suicide attempts. Manning insists that she did not intend to harm any member of the Army or the interests of the United States.

Manning has received support from the American Civil Liberties Union and LGBT rights groups, which sent Obama a letter stating that "The sole relief that Ms. Manning is seeking is to be released from military prison after serving over six years of confinement, longer than any whistleblower in the history of our country."

The letter added that "While the armed forces have finally opened the door
to transgender men and women who wish to serve, the government has continually fought Ms. Manning’s efforts to be treated with basic dignity."

Despite passing the threshold, the president might not issue a response due to a caveat in the website that says, "In some cases, the White House response might not address the facts of a particular matter to avoid the appearance of improper influence," Law Newz reports.

Since Manning's lawyers formally petitioned Obama last month on the matter, this case could fall under the category of avoiding the appearance of improper influence in "adjudicatory matters."

Another way for the Obama administration not to respond is to just leave the decision to President-elect Donald Trump when he takes office, since inauguration day is just 39 days away and the White House has 60 days to respond, according to the promise in the website.

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A petition asking President Barack Obama to commute the 35-year prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the former Army analyst convicted for leaking classified government documents, has passed the 100,000 mark needed to elicit an official response from the White House, The...
chelsea, manning, petition, commute, sentence, obama, white house
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2016-48-11
Sunday, 11 Dec 2016 04:48 PM
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