second marine found not guilty in death of harry lew

Last week, the second of three Marines accused in the hazing death of Lance Corporal Harry Lew was found not guilty, which means his actions will go entirely unpunished: Marine Sergeant Not Guilty in Hazing Case.

The general court-martial panel deliberated about an hour before announcing that Sgt. Benjamin Johns was not guilty of violating a lawful order by wrongfully humiliating and demeaning Lance Cpl. Harry Lew.

And that's it. Sgt. Johns goes back to regular duty.

Harry Lew was the nephew of U.S. Rep. Chu, who called the verdict "a travesty of justice." Here's part of the Congresswoman's statement about the verdict:
The not guilty verdict in Sgt. John's trial twists the knife even further into the wounds that were caused by Harry's hazing death. It is outrageous and a travesty of justice. It was an upset Sgt. Johns that led two lance corporals, Harry's peers, to take matters into their own hands and assault him for 3 1/2 hours, leading Harry to commit suicide 20 minutes later. Yet the military does not hold Sgt. Johns responsible for any of this.

This verdict shows that hazing in the military is not only accepted but in fact, imbedded very deeply into its culture, including the jury, which was comprised entirely of fellow Marines. This not guilty verdict comes after a light jail sentence of one month against Lance Corporal Jacoby, who did most of the physical assault. All the pronouncements made by the military officials that hazing is officially prohibited are empty words. The real message from these two verdicts is that the Marines will let violent assaults continue unabated against soldiers who are supposed to be fighting on the same side of the war.
Last month, Lance Cpl. Jacob Jacoby pleaded guilty to assault for his part in the hazing and abuse of Harry Lew. He was sentenced to just thirty days in jail and had his rank reduced. And that's it. That's not justice.

The issue of the suicide wasn't even allowed to be included in the trial. Then who is to be held accountable for the abuse and violence that led to Harry Lew's death? I'm not saying Lance Cpl. Lew didn't make mistakes, but there's way more to this story that the military certainly appears to be trying to sweep under the rug.

Here's the full press release from Congresswoman Chu: CONGRESSWOMAN CHU DECRIES NOT GUITY VERDICT IN MARINE HAZING CASE.

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