US deserter Bowe Bergdahl spared prison time

Daily News Article - November 6, 2017


1. a) What charges were brought against Bowe Bergdahl?
b) How did he plead?

2. a) What maximum sentence did Bergdahl face?
b) What sentence did prosecutors recommend?

3. What sentence did Bergdahl’s lawyers ask the judge for?

4. What sentence did Bergdahl receive from the judge, Col. Jeffrey Nance?

5. a) Define desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.
b) What is the punishment for these actions in the military?
c) Bergdahl pleaded guilty to the charges against him. Considering the military punishment for these actions, do you think Bowe Bergdahl’s sentence is correct? Explain your answer.

6. a) Following Bergdahl’s sentencing, President Trump tweeted, “The decision on Sergeant Bergdahl is a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military.” Opponents say the President has no right to voice this opinion. As president of the United States, Mr. Trump is the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces. What do you think of his tweet? Appropriate or not? Explain your answer.
b) Reacting to the sentence and the Judge’s earlier comment during a hearing at Fort Bragg in which the judge said: “I will consider the president’s comments as mitigating evidence as I arrive at an appropriate sentence,” conservative commentator and “never-Trumper” John Podhoretz tweeted:
“So the judge went easy on Bergdahl to go after Trump. He all but said so earlier in the week. That's wrong.”
What do you think?
c) Ask a parent to answer a) and b). Discuss your answers.