As the sentencing phase in the court martial of Bradley Manning continues, a military judge has ruled that his maximum possible prison sentence will be reduced to 90 years.

From Reuters:

A U.S. military judge reduced potential prison time for Private First Class Bradley Manning to 90 years from 136 years on Tuesday by ruling that some sentences for leaking secret files to WikiLeaks should be merged.

Court-martial Judge Colonel Denise Lind convicted Manning, 25, last week on 19 criminal counts, including espionage and theft, for providing more than 700,000 secret files to WikiLeaks in the largest unauthorized release of secret data in U.S. history.

Lind ruled that some counts resulted from the same offenses and should be merged to avoid “an unreasonable multiplication of charges.”

The sentencing phase is much like a trial within a trial.  It began just after Manning’s conviction and it is expected to last until at least the end of the week.

Prosecutors continue to contend that Manning’s leaks to Wikileaks harmed US interests and jeopardized the lives of informants.  Both sides will present evidence and call witnesses to testify during the remainder of the sentencing phase.