My 209 page Court Martial Appeal Brief, as filed on May 18, 2016.

Far From Over

My Court Martial Appeal is only the beginning

Last night, I had trouble sleeping. I was jittery with anxiety. Today, I am a ball of tension, anxiety, fear, and doubt. If you could slice the air around me with a knife, it would snap like a tight rubber band.

Wednesday, we filed a brief appealing the conviction and sentence of my court martial in 2013.

It has taken my legal team — Nancy Hollander and Vincent Ward, of Freedman, Boyd, Goldberg Urias and Ward P.A., and US Army Captain David Hammond — nearly three years of hard work pouring over the tens of thousands of pages of transcript and court filings to put this magnum opus together. I would like to thank everyone who donated and showed their support over these years, it would not be possible without you.

I have asked the judges to dismiss all charges or give me a shorter sentence for these reasons:

  • the harsh solitary confinement conditions before my trial.
  • the admission of vague evidence for sentencing.
  • the lack of evidence on charges of theft of information.
  • the vagueness of the definition of “exceeding authorized access” under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
  • the lack of proof by the government that the disclosures actually harmed the United States’ national security or diplomatic interests.

We are not the only ones with something to say about the trial:

  • Amnesty International has filed a brief on the harsh conditions of solitary confinement.
  • The ACLU filed a brief on the unconstitutionality of the Espionage Act.
  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Center for Democracy & Technology (NACDL), filed a brief asking to overturn Chelsea Manning’s CFAA conviction, due to the vagueness of its definition of “exceeding authorized access.”
  • Open Society Justice Initiative filed a brief arguing that the 35-year sentence imposed on Manning far exceeds international legal norms and should be reduced.

All in all, rather than this being the end, this is only beginning.