By DAVID DISHNEAU
and PAULINE JELINEK
FORT MEADE, Md. — A military judge began deliberating Army Pfc. Bradley Manning's sentence today for disclosing reams of classified information through WikiLeaks.
Col. Denise Lind said she would announce the sentence as early as Wednesday morning.
Manning faces up to 90 years in prison for leaking more than 700,000 Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports and State Department diplomatic cables in 2010 while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq. He also leaked video of an U.S. helicopter attack in Baghdad in which at least nine people were killed, including a Reuters news photographer and his driver.
Prosecutors have asked for at least a 60-year prison term. Capt. Joe Morrow said in his closing argument Monday that a long prison sentence would dissuade other soldiers from following in Manning's footsteps.
"There's value in deterrence," Morrow said.
The defense has suggested a prison term of no more than 25 years, so that Manning could rebuild his life productively after his release. Defense attorney David Coombs asked for a sentence that "doesn't rob him of his youth."
Manning must serve at least one-third of any prison sentence before becoming eligible for parole. He will get credit for about 3 1/2 years of pretrial confinement, including 112 days for being illegally punished by harsh conditions at the Quantico, Va., Marine Corps brig.
Manning was convicted last month of 20 offenses, including six Espionage Act violations, five theft counts and computer fraud.
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