Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Today President Obama Handed Down 64 Pardons And 209 Commutations Including One For Army Private First Class Chelsea Manning

The Obama administration on Tuesday shortened the prison sentences of 209 people and granted pardons to another 64.

One of the high-profile names on the list include Chelsea Manning who received a commutation.

Manning was working as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad in 2010 when she gave WikiLeaks a trove of diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts that included a 2007 gunsight video of a U.S. Apache helicopter crew laughing as they fired at "suspected insurgents" in Iraq, killing a dozen people who turned out to be innocent civilians as well as two Reuters news staff.

U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, who was born male but now identifies as a woman, was sentenced to serve 35 years in prison. Her sentence will now expire on May 17, the White House said.

Manning, who has twice attempted suicide while being held at the Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, military prison for the last seven years, has accepted responsibility for leaking the material.

Manning's clemency was praised by civil rights groups who called it overdue. Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA. said...

"Chelsea Manning exposed serious abuses, and as a result her own human rights have been violated by the U.S. government for years. President Obama was right to commute her sentence, but it is long overdue. It is unconscionable that she languished in prison for years while those allegedly implicated by the information she revealed still haven’t been brought to justice."

In addition to Manning Obama also pardoned or commuted the sentences of these high profile individuals as well...

Retired U.S. Marine Corps general James Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff pleaded guilty in October to making false statements during an investigation into a leak of classified information about a covert cyberattack on Iran's nuclear facilities. He was pardoned.

Oscar López Rivera, the Puerto Rican nationalist was sentenced to 55 years in prison for his role in the struggle for independence for the U.S. island territory. Obama commuted the sentence of the 74-year-old.

Arboleda A. Ortiz who in a Missouri court in 2000 was sentenced to die for his role in a murder and in drug trafficking. He maintained that officers who questioned him never told him he had a right to an attorney or a right to remain silent. His attorneys said he never learned to read or write in any language. Obama commuted the death penalty punishment to life imprisonment.

Willie McCovey, the San Francisco Giants Hall of Famer was sentenced in June 1996 to two years of probation for evading taxes on baseball memorabilia. McCovey was pardoned.

Ian Schrager, the co-owner of the New York City nightclub Studio 54, was convicted of tax evasion. After serving time in a jail, Schrager became a well-known hotelier. Obama pardoned Schrager.

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