Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning's Sentence; Snowden Supporters Ask for His Pardon

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Protesters from a coalition of groups demonstrate the conviction of Wikileaker Bradley Manning late August 21, 2013 in front of the White House in Washington, DC.  (Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, President Obama shortened Chelsea Manning's 35-year prison sentence, allowing her to be released in May after spending almost seven years in jail. The former Army intelligence analyst was convicted of releasing classified documents to WikiLeaks. Some Manning supporters also called for the pardon of Edward Snowden, who is facing espionage charges for intelligence leaks. But the White House said there was a "stark difference" between Manning, who stood trial in the U.S., and Snowden, who is living in Russia under temporary asylum. We examine the politics and precedent of pardons.


David French, senior fellow, National Review Institute; writer, National Review

Dinah PoKempner, general counsel, Human Rights Watch, which has called for the pardon of Edward Snowden.