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Hawaii Marine Hazing Defendant to Receive Special Courts-Martial

In recent news, one of the three Hawaii-based Marines accused of hazing a fellow Marine that committed suicide in April of this year in Afghanistan will soon face a special court-martial. The trial is scheduled to be held at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii on Monday, January 30th. Cases against the other two accused Marines – Sergeant Benjamin E. Johns and Lance Corporal Carlos Orozco III – are pending.

Lance Corporal Jacob Jacoby originally faced a more severe general court-martial for the alleged hazing of Lance Corporal Harry Lew immediately before Lew killed himself on April 3rd. The Marine Corps now says Jacoby’s case will be disposed of at a special court-martial, a forum for less serious offenses in the military justice system.

The move is the result of an agreement with the convening authority, Brigadier General Frederick Padilla, the commander of the 3rd Marine Division, said Marine Corps Forces Pacific spokesman Lt. Col. Curtis Hill. Hill had no further comments on the agreement.

In October of 2011, Padilla referred all three Marines to general courts-martial. Jacoby faced three charges. These included (1) the wrongful abuse, humiliation, and demeaning of Lew; (2) striking Lew on the back and in the head; and (3) threatening Lew.

The majority of special courts-martial consider cases in which service members have been charged with less serious offenses. The maximum penalty at special courts-martial is one year in prison, hard labor (without confinement) for no more than three months, forfeiture of 2/3 pay for up to one year and a bad conduct discharge.

If you are facing a court-martial or are appealing a court-martial conviction contact the law office of William E. Cassara at (888) 288-3347 for a free consultation about your rights.

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