Petition Filed To Commute Sentence of Texan, Reality Winner

Barbara Schwarz
February 18, 2020 - 3:56 pm
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(Michael Holahan/The Augusta Chronicle via AP)


DALLAS (KRLD) - Kingsville native Reality Winner was sentenced to five years and three months in prison back in 2017. 

Winner, 28, was an Airforce Airman Cryptologic Language Analyst working in the NSA when she mailed documents to the publication The Intercept, exposing Russian attempts to directly interfere with U.S. voter systems before the Nov. 2016 election. 33 months is the longest-ever sentence for an unauthorized release of government information to a media outlet.

Her attorney Alison Grinter Allen says those documents showed how Russia had penetrated much further into our nation's voting infrastructure than was previously known.  She says that story was well known to fellow employees as it was the number one trending article on the NSA's internal Internet.

"She didn't do it for money or to harm anyone.  At the end of the day, this is about how we treat our truth-tellers."

She says no one was endangered and no one's identity was revealed. 

"National election security, rebuilding our faith in our democracy, none of that can start while we're still punishing the people who let us know what the problem was."

Grinter Allen notes this comes as President Trump has pardoned several people convicted of white-collar crime.

"I'm saddened to see them walk out of prison and escape accountability entirely, while Reality Winner sits in prison and is deteriorating by the day."

She says Winner has been diagnosed with anxiety, depression and bulimia and is not getting help while incarcerated at FMC Carswell in Fort Worth