Bowe Bergdahl Will Not Be Imprisoned

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On Nov. 3, a court decided Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will receive no jail time.

Instead, he was sentenced to be dishonorably discharged, reduced in rank, and forced to pay $1,000 every month from his salary for ten months, reports CNN.

"Sgt. Bergdahl has looked forward to today for a long time," Eugene Fidell, Bergdahl's civilian attorney, said at a news conference. "As everyone knows he was a captive of the Taliban for nearly five years, and three more years have elapsed while the legal process unfolded. He has lost nearly a decade of his life."

Bergdahl, 31, deserted his post in June 2009 before he was captured by the Taliban and kept for five years. While their prisoner, he was kept in a cage and brutally tortured, Fox News reports.

He was only freed in 2014 after former President Barack Obama reached a controversial deal with the Taliban in which he released five Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay in exchange.

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However, prosecutors wanted Bergdahl to spend 14 years in prison after many soldiers were wounded in an attempt to find the sergeant after he left.

One of those injured soldiers was Master Sgt. Mark Allen, who suffered a head injury in July 2009 while looking for Bergdahl and is now unable to speak or walk.

Bergdahl could have faced up to life in prison for charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

The former soldier tearfully apologized to those who searched for him.

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"My words can't take away what people have been through," he said. "I am admitting I made a horrible mistake."

The jury sided with Bergdahl's defense team, it appears. While he pleaded guilty to endangering his comrades, they did not put him behind bars.

"Sgt. Bergdahl has been punished enough," said defense attorney Capt. Nina Banks. "Sgt. Bergdahl paid a bitter price for the choices that he made."

Bergdahl's attorneys had asked the judge for leniency, arguing he had an undiagnosed mental illness when he deserted his post.

"Hypothetically, he probably should not have been in the Army," said Banks, who argued his illness affected the quality of his thinking that day.

According to Dr. Charles Morgan, a forensic psychiatrist and professor at both the University of New Haven and Yale University, Bergdahl suffered from numerous mental illnesses, including schizotypal personality disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. 

But not everybody is happy about the trial's outcome.

President Donald Trump, who once called Bergdahl a traitor, took to Twitter to express his anger.

"The decision on Sergeant Bergdahl is a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military," Trump wrote.

Sources: CNN, Fox News, Donald J. Trump/Twitter / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: United States Army via Wikimedia Commons, bluuurgh/Wikimedia Commons

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