Bowe Bergdahl's Sentence: No Prison Time

04 November, 2017, 01:09 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • Judge rules no jail time for Bergdahl

A military judge has ruled that U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl should serve no prison time for endangering his comrades for walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009.

The charges didn't carry the risk of the death penalty, but prosecutors asked for 14 years in prison rather than the potential life sentence that they did carry.

The judge also ruled that Bergdahl's rank be reduced from sergeant to private.

Bergdahl appeared tense, grimaced and clenched his jaw.

Defence lawyers had argued during Bergdahl's sentencing hearing that he was a young, hardworking soldier who did not understand the full consequences of his actions when he deserted. "I mean, we can't hold hands anymore, unless I pry open his hand and place mine in it". Bergdahl, he added, has contemplated self-castration, believing it would purify him, and has trouble understanding how to form social relationships. He called the case a "terrible ordeal" for Bergdahl. He recalled painful bed sores and said his captors burned the bottoms of his feet.

Fidell said Bergdahl was especially grateful for "those who heroically sustained injuries" searching for him after he left his combat outpost in Paktika province in June 2009 without permission.

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Bergdahl was released in May 2014 in a controversial exchange for five Guantanamo Bay detainees.

Republicans roundly criticised Mr Obama, and Mr Trump went further while campaigning for the presidency, repeatedly calling Bergdahl a traitor who deserved serious punishment. Nance later denied a motion by the defense to dismiss the case based on Trump's comments. He said he walked away from his post in remote Afghanistan to alert commanders of issues at the post.

The White House said it had no comment on the sentence and referred back to a statement from several weeks ago that said Trump expects everyone in the military justice system "to exercise their independent professional judgment, consistent with applicable laws and regulations".

"Sgt. Bergdahl has been punished enough", she said.

She also pointed to his mental disorders.

Bergdahl suffered from numerous mental illnesses, including schizotypal personality disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder; and Dr. Charles Morgan, a forensic psychiatrist and professor at the University of New Haven and Yale University testified on Wednesday that Bergdahl suffered these problems before enlisting.

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