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US Judge Considering Sentence for Wiki Leaker

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted out of a courthouse after receiving a verdict in his court-martial, in Fort Meade, Maryland, July 2013.
A U.S. military judge has started deliberating the sentence for the Army private she convicted of disclosing a vast collection of classified information to the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks.

The judge, Colonel Denise Lind, considered the case against Private First Class Bradley Manning, 25, on Tuesday and says she could announce his sentence as early as Wednesday morning. Lind heard closing arguments in the case Monday.

An Army prosecutor, Captain Joe Morrow, said Manning should be sentenced to a 60-year term for leaking more than 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks. It was the largest leak of secret information in U.S. history.

Morrow said Manning's leak of U.S. State Department diplomatic cables and American battlefield reports from Iraq and Afghanistan was "destructive."

But Manning's defense lawyers pleaded with Lind for leniency. Defense attorney David Coombs called for a sentence that "doesn't rob him of his youth." He said Manning can be rehabilitated and should not "rot in jail."

Lind has convicted Manning of 20 offenses, including espionage, and he could face up to 90 years in prison.

Last week, Manning apologized for hurting the U.S., and he pleaded with Lind for a chance to go to college and become a productive citizen.