The New York Times announced a long-awaited development on Tuesday in the case of Chelsea Manning, a transgender woman incarcerated in a military prison for men.
After receiving the longest sentence ever imposed for leaking government documents, Manning will be released in May after having served nearly seven years of her 35-year sentence.
Manning was able to speak out about her experience in prison, including her suicide attempts and struggles with mental health, while serving her sentence. Her treatment inside the facility as a transgender woman became the focus of advocacy organizations who spoke out on her behalf.
The question of whether or not Manning’s medical decision to transition while in prison should be honored while the state was providing her medical care as a prisoner was the subject of debate among many, but particularly among those on the right.
According to the Times:
‘Under the terms of Mr. Obama’s commutation announced by the White House on Tuesday, Ms. Manning is set to be freed in five months, on May 17 of this year, rather than in 2045.
‘The commutation also relieved the Department of Defense of the difficult responsibility of her incarceration as she pushes for treatment for her gender dysphoria — including sex reassignment surgery — that the military has no experience providing.’
When the documents Manning leaked first went public, Sarah Palin, whose own private documents were included in the 700,000 documents leaks, called for her to face similar treatment to terrorists. Palin softened her tone when the man Manning made famous, Julian Assange, after he leaked documents in 2016 that damaged Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s credibility as a presidential nominee.
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