I noted in minor military news this past weekend, that the Bowe Bergdahl episode has progressed to the next step. He was the young Army guy who decided to walk out of the camp in Afghanistan, in search of a better life and was taken prisoner by the Taliban folks....held for a fair amount of time as a prisoner and then traded with a deal with the Obama Administration. The Army has taken the view that some court-martial type offenses have occurred and the court is working up to a starting point.
So the two items that have occurred is that the military judge in charge decided that all charges that were referred to the court.....will be allowed. There are two charges....both of which could get not just life in prison but the death penalty. The second item is that two witnesses will be allowed into the court.....both of which were members who were injured or wounded during the hunt for Bergdahl after he disappeared. This is a bit difficult for the defense lawyers to overcome and harsh questions toward the two won't be appreciated by the jury.....all combat-veterans.
I will note....that if you go and research all of Bergdah's history....after getting removed from the Coast Guard boot-camp.....the Army should NOT have allowed him in.....he was simply not mature enough or competent enough for military duty. Somehow, he made it through Army boot-camp and came to lose his prospective on life in Afghanistan. I do put some of the blame on the Army for not recognizing the guy's behavior and limits.
All this said and done.....I think Bergdahl will end up with a 15-year sentence and be reduced to E-1. They will likely credit him for the period held captive, but the rest of this....probably 13 years....will be what he owes the Army. I will add that if he demands NCOs be on the jury (which is his right).....he's likely to get MORE time, not less, on the sentencing. It would not be in your best interest to have NCOs on this jury.