NCTE Calls for Commuting Chelsea Manning’s Sentence
On Tuesday, the National Center for Transgender Equality sent a letter to President Obama urging the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence for disclosing classified information to the media. Manning, a transgender woman, is serving the seventh year of a 35-year sentence in a military men’s prison. The letter notes the President’s strong record of defending the dignity of transgender people, working to improve prison conditions, and granting clemency in appropriate cases, and urges him to do so in Ms. Manning’s case. President Obama has granted clemency to over 1,000 Americans during his Presidency.
The letter states:
Ms. Manning has been incarcerated for over six years—longer than any other American ever charged with leaking information to the media. The conditions of her incarceration have been unusually harsh and traumatic. … Ms. Manning is not asking for a pardon, but simply to have her sentence commuted to time served. We strongly believe clemency is merited in this case, and we believe that if you carefully review her case with an open mind and heart, you will agree.
Manning spent the first 11 months of her incarceration in solitary confinement, a horrific and unnecessary practice which the Obama Administration has worked to limit in civilian prisons. For years the government has repeatedly attempted to deny Manning appropriate medical care, making limited concessions only after legal battles. In September, she was again placed in solitary confinement as punishment for attempting to take her own life.
NCTE is proud to stand with numerous other LGBT and human rights organizations calling for clemency in this case.