Judge Rules No Prison Time For Bowe Bergdahl

REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

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Anders Hagstrom Justice Reporter
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A military judge ruled Friday that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl would receive a dishonorable discharge but no prison time for deserting his post in Afghanistan and endangering the lives of his comrades.

Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance made the sentence after Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy last month, charges that stemmed from the sergeant’s abandonment of his post in Afghanistan in 2009 before he was held captive by the Taliban-aligned Haqqani network for five years.

These charges carried the potential for life imprisonment as a punishment.

The sentence complied with requests from Berdgahl’s defense team during closing arguments, but also demotes Berdahl from Sergeant to E1. Focusing on the abuse he suffered at the hands of the Taliban, harsh criticism by President Trump, and diagnosed mental disorders, the defense argued that these factors should mitigate the severity of Bergdahl’s punishment.

The judge ultimately agreed.

Prosecutors argued that Berdahl should receive a 14-year sentence.

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