Judge (COL) Denise Lind is going to issue PFC Manning’s sentence here in the next few minutes (1000hrs Eastern time).
A few quick notes–PFC Manning has 1312 days of sentence credit, including 110 days for unnecessarily harsh conditions at Quantico Marine Base Brig. That’s about 3.5 years give or take. Additionally, he will receive 5 days of sentencing credit for every 30 days of good behavior, and this works out to approximately 60 days per year. Any sentence of less than 10 years will be served at a Regional Confinement Facility, such as the Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility on the grounds of Fort Leavenworth, KS. This is not part of the big military prison there, but rather a separate facility. PFC Manning was confined at MJRCF for his pre-trial confinement after transfer from QMB. Any sentence over 10 years will be served at the US Disciplinary Barracks, which is the big military prison on Fort Leavenworth.
Once the trial is complete, a full record of the trial will be forwarded to the Commanding General of the Military District of Washington, who is the Convening Authority for this court-martial. He may approve or disprove the findings (guilt or innocence) or the sentence in whole or in part. Assuming that he approves a sentence in excess of one year of confinement or a punitive discharge (dishonorable or bad conduct discharge) the case will automatically be docketed with the Army Court of Criminal Appeals under Art. 66, UCMJ. The CA may not increase the punishment adjudged.
ACCA may approve or disprove the findings or the sentence in whole or in part. They can reduce the sentence, delete the sentence, or return the record of trial to the Convening Authority to convene a new hearing as appropriate. Once ACCA rules, the accused may appeal to the Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces. CAAF, assuming they hear the case, may act under the same strictures as ACCA. The Government can also appeal the case to CAAF by having the The Adjutant General of the Army certify the case to CAAF. In no case can either ACCA or CAAF increase the punishment. Assuming that CAAF agrees to hear the case, and then finds against PFC Manning, he will have the right to appeal to the SCOTUS, but only if CAAF hears the case. If CAAF does not hear the case, then appeal to SCOTUS is not permitted.
While all this is going on, Manning’s sentence will be reviewed by the Army Clemency and Parole Board, which may at their sole unreviewable discretion reduce or eliminate the sentence.
Again, all errors in the preceding are mine and mine alone. Open Thread.
UPDATE: Accused Fort Hood shooter MAJ Nidal Hassan rested his defense case in his capital Court Martial without calling any witnesses or making any statement.
UPDATE: Judge Lind has sentenced PFC Manning to 35 years according to persons tweeting form the trial.
UPDATE: Manning will be eligible for parole after 1/3 of his sentence is served. So about 13 years. With time off for sentencing credit, that works out to around 9.5 years before parole, and as I mentioned above, there are several levels of review yet to go.