Sep 25, 2016

Manning's Punishment.

   The military is imposing punishment on Chelsea Manning, the Trans soldier in prison for disclosing secrets, for trying to kill herself. It was her second suicide . The Atlantic reports:attempt

"Manning, who was arrested in 2010 as Bradley Manning, was convicted in 2013 for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks while working as a military intelligence analyst in Iraq. She is serving a 35-year sentence for her actions, and faced an additional nine years for the suicide attempt."

    Imposing punishment---rather than treatment---for a suicide attempt, has a long and brutal history. In England attempting suicide was punishable by...hanging.

"An anecdote from 1860 claims that a man was hung in London for the crime of suicide. He attempted to kill himself by slitting his throat, but a doctor saved him. The doctor warned that it would be useless to hang him -- the rope would merely cause the sutures to break and he would breathe through the hole in his throat that he'd cut in the suicide attempt. The doctor was ignored, but his words proved true. The aldermen convened to decide how to proceed and they decided to bind his neck below the wound. Thus he was executed. This anecdote was recounted in the book "The Savage God - A History of – user8314 Aug 23 '12 at 22:30"


And, from a report on the BBC:

For a death to be declared a "Felo de se", Latin for "felon of himself", an old legal term for suicide, it had to be proved the person was sane.
If proven, they were denied a Christian burial - and instead carried to a crossroads in the dead of night and dumped in a pit, a wooden stake hammered through the body pinning it in place. There were no clergy or mourners, and no prayers were offered.
But punishment did not end with death. The deceased's family were stripped of their belongings and they were handed to the Crown. "The suicide of an adult male could reduce his survivors to pauperism," Michael MacDonald and Terence Murphy wrote in Sleepless souls: Suicide in early modern England.

So there. 
Throwing Manning into solitary seems a rather gentle punishment compared to all of that, but punishment still.


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