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Thursday 28 September 2023 Dublin: 15°C
# Clemency
Obama 'considering reducing Chelsea Manning's prison sentence'
She has served seven years of a 35-year sentence for leaking classified material.

download AP Chelsea Manning AP

US PRESIDENT BARACK Obama is said to be considering reducing Chelsea Manning’s prison sentence.

The former army intelligence analyst has served seven years of a 35-year sentence for leaking classified material.

NBC News reports that Manning is among those on a short list for commutation.

Manning has attempted suicide twice in prison and went on a hunger strike before the US Army agreed to pay for gender reassignment surgery.

In a statement, her lawyer Chase Strangio said: “The Obama administration has done many commendable things to protect the rights of LGBTQ people, but in the case of Chelsea Manning they have systematically mistreated her and denied her access to medically recommended gender-related healthcare.

Chelsea won’t survive another five years in prison, much less another 30. President Obama has nine days to do the right thing and commute her sentence.

“The world is watching, and we hope that he stands on the side of justice, and that his legacy will be one of standing up for trans people’s rights, not having extinguished one of our community’s brightest lights.”


Presidents have two clemency options: commutations, which reduce sentences being served but don’t erase convictions, and pardons, which generally restore civil rights, such as voting, often after a sentence has been served.

Obama has granted 1,176 commutations and 148 pardons — fewer pardons than some presidents, but more commutations than any other, the White House said.

Obama Pardons Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Barack Obama Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP / AP

His goal in taking on the commutations project was to spur action in Congress on a criminal justice overhaul. That seemed initially promising, but the momentum petered out.

“It’s politically risky. You commute somebody and they commit a crime, and the politics of it are tough,” Obama previously said.

Read: Chelsea Manning ends hunger strike as US army agrees to pay for her gender surgery

Read: Chelsea Manning could be placed in solitary confinement in wake of suicide attempt

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