Sgt. Adam Holcomb, the first soldier to be tried in the court martial case surrounding Pvt. Danny Chen’s suicide, was acquitted of the most serious charges but was found guilty of minor ones this Monday. By the following day, his suggested sentenced was announced, and the punishment is creating backlash in the Chinatown community for being too light.
“For the conviction of assault and two counts of maltreatment, a sentence of 30 days hardly equates with Pvt. Danny Chen’s life being cut short at age 19,” Elizabeth Ouyang, president of the Organization of Chinese Americans-NY, said in a statement.
“This is an outrage,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “This sentence is a slap on the wrist and it does not reflect the seriousness of Sgt. Holcomb’s offenses. Sgt. Holcomb’s behavior shows a complete disregard for military ethics, values, and standards of conduct.”
Holcomb is one of eight soldiers to be tried at Ft. Bragg, N.C., in connection with Chen’s apparent Oct. 3 suicide in Afghanistan. Chen was a Chinatown native.
The soldiers’ gratuitous racial slurs, hazing and punishment are believed to be the direct cause for Chen’s suicide.
The 10-person military jury made its voice heard this Tuesday afternoon, recommending Holcomb serve 30 days in a military prison without discharge.
A military jury can only deliver a recommended verdict and sentence. Their decision is made to influence Ft. Bragg Lt. Gen. Daniel Allyn, who makes the final call.
The jury also recommended reducing Holcomb one military rank and levying a fine of $1,181.55, said Chin’s release.
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