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Manning appeals lawyer calls GI's 35-year sentence excessive, questions classification process

The lawyer representing Chelsea Manning in her court-martial appeals says the soldier's 35-year sentence for leaking classified information is out of proportion with the offenses of which she was convicted.

Nancy Hollander of Albuquerque, N.M., said by telephone Tuesday that Manning's sentence for sending reams of secret documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks is tougher than those handed out in similar cases, and even for some violent crimes.

The Army private, now imprisoned at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, retained Hollander and her law partner Vincent Ward for the next phase of her military court proceedings.

Hollander says she hasn't received a transcript of Manning's trial to begin crafting an appeal. But she says the case raises big issues about freedom of information and the government's reasons for keeping information secret.

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