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Hazing/Gang Initiation on trial in the death of Sgt. Juwan Johnson

Excerpt and link: Rodney Howell each punched Sgt. Juwan Johnson 20 or more times in the face, chest and back during a July 3, 2005, initiation into the Gangster Disciples in which Johnson suffered more than 200 blows in six minutes, a witness testified Tuesday.

Pfc. Latisha Ellis, who attended the “jumping in” ceremony, provided details on Johnson’s beating and details about the activities and structure of the Gangster Disciples in Kaiserslautern. Johnson, 25, of the 66th Transportation Company, died from multiple blunt-force injuries on July 4, 2005.

Ellis’ testimony came during the second day of a joint Article 32 hearing for Norman and Howell, who face several charges in Johnson’s death, including involuntary manslaughter.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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