Prof. Eric R. Carpenter provided commentary in the Associated Press article, Bergdahl seeks pardon from Obama to avert desertion trial, published on December 3, 2016. The article discusses the case of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl who is “accused of endangering comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan.” Sgt. Bergdahl is asking President Obama for pardon.
In response to whether President-Elect Trump’s comments on the case could have tainted the military prosecution, Prof. Carpenter is quoted:
‘People in the military do what their commanders tell them to do,’ said Eric Carpenter, a law professor at Florida International University who served as an Army lawyer. He said there’s a risk that military jurors could punish Bergdahl because they think it’s what their commander in chief wants, rather than deciding strictly on the evidence.
Carpenter said he’d be surprised if the Army judge dismissed the charges entirely, but he could give the defense leeway to question potential jurors and reject them based on their answers about Trump.
Prof. Carpenter joined FIU Law in 2013. His research interests are in military justice, sexual violence against women, and capital litigation. To read Prof. Carpenter’s works, visit his Selected Works gallery.