The Associated Press reports here that:
A military judge on Thursday began deliberating the punishment for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after defense attorneys asked for no prison time while prosecutors sought more than a decade behind bars.
Army Col. Jeffery Nance said he planned to spend the afternoon considering evidence and would open court again Friday morning to continue deliberating then. It wasn’t clear when he would deliver the sentence.
Bergdahl faces up to life in prison after pleading guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy for walking off his remote post in Afghanistan in 2009. In closing arguments, prosecutors asked for a sentence of 14 years in prison, citing serious wounds to service members who looked for Bergdahl.
“Sgt. Bergdahl does not have a monopoly on suffering as a result of his choices,” said Maj. Justin Oshana, a prosecutor. Contrasting Bergdahl to the wounded searchers, he added, “The difference is all the suffering stems from his choice.”
But defense attorneys argued Bergdahl already suffered enough confinement during five years of brutal captivity by Taliban allies. They asked the judge to give their client a dishonorable discharge and no prison time. Their argument for leniency also cited harsh campaign-trail criticism by Donald Trump and Bergdahl’s mental disorders.
Any discharge as a result of a general court-martial will permanently deprive Sergeant Bergdahl of benefits administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs as a matter of law.