Closing Arguments Wrap Up In Bowe Bergdahl’s Sentencing : The Two-Way : NPR


U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is escorted into the Ft. Bragg army courthouse for the sentencing proceedings on Thursday in Ft. Bragg, N.C.

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

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Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is escorted into the Ft. Bragg army courthouse for the sentencing proceedings on Thursday in Ft. Bragg, N.C.

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

Defense attorneys and prosecutors made their closing arguments on the sentencing of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, with prosecutors in search of 14 years in jail and protection attorneys asking for no jail time and a dishonorable or unhealthy conduct discharge.

During the final two weeks of the sentencing listening to at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, the army court docket has heard about three troopers who had been wounded whereas trying to find Bergdahl after he walked off his army publish in Afghanistan in 2009.

The court docket has additionally heard Bergdahl himself apologize for the ache that he precipitated, and describe the torture he endured for 5 years in Taliban custody. Bergdahl has pleaded responsible to desertion and misbehavior earlier than the enemy.

Bowe Bergdahl Takes The Stand, Offers Apology To Wounded Service Members

Today, protection lawyer Capt. Nina Banks argued that the struggling Bergdahl endured with the Taliban was punishment sufficient. She stated that he was chained to a metallic mattress body for 3 months, after which was held in a metallic cage for nearly 4 years. He had diarrhea more often than not and had to make use of his personal urine to clean himself, she stated.

Banks stated that Bergdahl is a distinct man than he was eight years in the past, when he walked off the publish. At that point he wasn’t conscious that he suffered from a number of psychological sicknesses that impacted his thought processes, she stated, corresponding to schizotypal persona dysfunction.

Mental well being points, Banks stated, ought to have disqualified him from army service so he should not have been there to start with. Now, she stated, he understands that he is acquired these sicknesses, he understands what he did and he is deeply, deeply sorrowful for the hurt he precipitated.

At A Hearing For Bowe Bergdahl, The Focus Is On President Trump

Bergdahl was merely attempting to badist, she stated. Bergdahl has said that he disagreed with the way in which his operation was being carried out, and walked off his publish hoping to set off a search, which might permit him to carry his issues to high-ranking officers.

“Justice is not rescuing Sgt. Bergdahl from his Taliban captors, in the cage where he was for years, only to place him in a cell,” Banks advised the court docket.

A key level of argument for each the protection and the prosecution is how a lot accountability Bergdahl bears for the accidents that service members sustained whereas trying to find him. Defense attorneys argue that the Taliban precipitated these accidents and Bergdahl didn’t intend to hurt anybody. And the proof, they are saying, would not present malice and disrespect.

On the opposite hand, prosecutors say that not one of the individuals can be harm if it was not for Bergdahl’s actions.

Maj. Justin Oshana, a prosecutor, in contrast the state of affairs to a automotive crash brought on by drunk driving to argue in opposition to leniency due to what Bergdahl has already suffered. If a drunk driver breaks his leg throughout a crash that kills a number of pedestrians, he argued, the truth that the motive force was harm should not imply a lowered sentence.

Bergdahl doesn’t have a monopoly on struggling, Oshana stated. But the entire struggling stems from his selection.

Ultimately, Oshana argued that this was not a mistake, as Bergdahl suggests. It was a criminal offense that ought to lead to vital jail time. Bergdahl deliberate to depart the publish so as to get his message out, and so he did this deliberately, the prosecutor stated.

The decide, Col. Jeffery Nance, has began deliberating on Bergdahl’s sentence.

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