In 2014, President Barack Obama arranged the release of US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban and held for five years after he deserted his post. In October 2017, he pled guilty to the charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.
Those charges carry the possibility of a life in prison, but the prosecution asked for only fourteen years. His attorney, on the other hand, asked for Bergdahl to avoid jail entirely.
Bergdahl's lawyer argued that Bergdahl should not have been in the army in the first place because of undiagnosed mental health issues. A doctor who testified for the defense said Bergdahl suffered from numerous mental illnesses, including schizotypal personality disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, reported CNN.
"Hypothetically, he probably should not have been in the Army," argued Capt. Nina Banks, one of Bergdahl's military defense attorneys, in her closing argument.
The defense also argued that Bergdahl’s behavior after he returned to the States—providing information on the Taliban and cooperating with investigators—warranted a more lenient sentence.
Instead of jail, they requested he receive a dishonorable discharge. On Friday, November 3rd, Bergdahl received his sentence.
CNN reported that he received a dishonorable discharge. He will also avoid prison time for desertion and misbehavior.
Earlier in the week, Bergdahl tearfully apologized to the service members who searched for him after he deserted.
"My words can't take away what people have been through," he said. "I am admitting I made a horrible mistake."
President Trump responded to the court's decision on Twitter. He called it a "disgrace" that Bergdahl was allowed to walk away free.
"The decision on Sergeant Bergdahl is a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military," wrote the President.
While Bergdahl said he was sorry for his actions, do you think he deserved to avoid jail? Let us know in the comments.