Not Guilty Verdict In Hazing Trial Stuns Harry Lew’s Family

Marine Lance Corporal Harry Lew committed suicide in Afghanistan after being hazed by fellow marines when he fell asleep on watch in a foxhole. Three Marines were charged, and in the trial of the second one, Sgt. Benjamin Johnson, the defendant was found not guilty. Lew’s family was stunned. Harry’s father Allen Lew on the verdict:

“I can’t believe it.  I just feel sad about the verdict. Now I believe there is no justice in the military. No justice. That’s what I feel.”

Of the three marines prosecuted in this case, the first received 30 days and a demotion. Another is awaiting trial. A couple of things are worth mentioning here. Sleeping on watch is one of the few capital military crimes remaining. A marine I know says that if someone is caught sleeping on watch, their peers usually just “take care of it.”  Just as Mina mentions about the first trial, the jury was not told that Lew committed suicide an hour after his last hazing, only that he died.

Lew’s death predates the suicide of Army Private Danny ChenEight soldiers are charged in connection with his death.  One wonders if the verdicts in these trials will be similar.


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About Jeff

Jeff lives in Silicon Valley, and attempts to juggle marriage, fatherhood, computer systems research, running, and writing.
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