Judge: Years of Delay in Manning Case ‘Reasonable’

Right to Speedy Trial Doesn't Count in This Case

by Jason Ditz, February 26, 2013

The military legal code guarantees a right to a speedy trial for US troops, and makes explicit exactly what that means: 120 days. Small delays of a few extra days have occasionally been permitted, but the 120 limit has traditionally been seen as near absolute.

Bradley Manning’s lawyer David Coombs has noted that it has been over 1,000 days since Manning’s detention began, and that he wasn’t even formally charged for almost two years after his capture. That’s a fair distance past 120 days, and Coombs argued that the case should just be dismissed since it’s been so long.

Judge Denise Lind rejected the call, however, at a “pre-trial” hearing today, insisting that years of delays were “reasonable” because the prosecution was working really hard and deserved those seven separate 30-day delays and the assorted other pauses that prevented a trial from taking place in anything resembling a timely faction.

“The government worked diligently,” Lind insisted, insisting the assorted charges against Manning can continue. Exactly how long until they move to an actual trial remains to be seen, but it seems that more delays will likely be shrugged off as well.

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