Transcript: Defense counsel David Coombs’s explanation on why he focused on Manning’s gender dysphoria & troubled family life during the sentencing phase
Transcript of comments by David Coombs, civilian defense counsel for PFC Bradley Manning. The 25-year-old former Army intelligence analyst was sentenced to 35 years in prison for releasing more than 700,000 classified U.S. government records to WikiLeaks. Mr. Coombs’s comments were recorded at 3:01 p.m. EST on Aug. 21, 2013 in Hanover, Maryland.
In your closing arguments, why did you emphasize so much on PFC Manning’s personal struggles, his background when you went out of your way to say they’re not to minimize his actions? The prosecution also called you out on that in their closing statement, questioning why are they relevant. What did you want the judge [Col. Denise Lind] to take away from that?
My hope was to get the information in front of the judge in a way that would be most compelling to her. So like anything, you need to know who your audience is. And something that I would say to someone that I know and agrees with me on a position, I might argue in a different way. With her, I was really trying to appeal to her sense of being a judge, a jurist, somebody who is free from compassion but also free from, you know, being moved by inflammatory evidence. Just to see it for what it is because I thought if an honest appraisal of this case, you would see a good young man trying to do the right thing, and what should that outcome be then. Unfortunately, it was not as good as I had hoped.
- WhatTheFolly.com: Court Martial of Army Private First Class Bradley Manning
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript & notes of the defense’s pre-sentencing closing argument on Aug. 19, 2013
- WhatTheFolly.com: Summary of the prosecution’s pre-sentencing closing argument on Aug. 19, 2013
- WhatTheFolly.com: PFC Bradley Manning apologizes for “unintended consequences” of leaks
- WhatTheFolly.com: Military judge reduces maximum sentence for PFC Bradley Manning
- WhatTheFolly.com: Human rights, civil liberties & free press advocates express concern over ‘dangerous’ precedent set by Manning’s conviction on espionage charges
- WhatTheFolly.com: PFC Bradley Manning acquitted of “aiding the enemy” but found guilty of Espionage Act, theft & computer fraud charges
- WhatTheFolly.com: Glossary of commonly-used acronyms in the court martial of PFC Bradley Manning
- Bradley Manning Support Network’s website
- David Coombs’s website