A former Marine drill instructor convicted of abusing 23 recruits has been granted clemency and released more than two months early.

The Associated Press confirmed Tuesday that Pvt. Jerrod Glass was quietly released Feb. 23 from the brig after the commanding general at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot signed off on a defense request for clemency.

Glass, 25, was convicted in November of eight counts of cruelty and maltreatment, destruction of personal property, assault and violating orders on how to properly treat recruits.

The former sergeant was sentenced to six months in the brig, a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and a reduction in rank to private.

Brig. Gen. Angela Salinas granted the clemency, which was requested after the court-martials against two senior drill instructors also charged in the case, Marine Maj. Kristen Lasica said.

Lasica said Salinas was out of the country and could not comment on why the general made the decision to give Glass an early release.

Glass is on "appellate leave" from the Marine Corps, meaning he will not be paid but will be subject to Corps rules and regulations while his case is appealed, Lasica said.

Because Glass was sentenced to a dishonorable discharge, his appeal is automatic, she said. An appeal can take as long as five years.

Glass was one of three drill instructors court-martialed in what prosecutors say was the rampant abuse of recruits at the recruit depot between December 2006 and February 2007.

Initially charged with 225 counts of abuse, Glass was eventually tried on 11 and convicted of eight.

In an interview with the AP late last year from the brig, Glass said he had been ordered to testify against the two drill instructors. The clemency, though, was not part of a deal for his testimony.

"There was no deal, no agreement," Lasica said.