The Pi Delta Psi organization could get fined, but Charles Lai, Kenny Kwan, Raymond Lam, Daniel Li, and Sheldon Wongwill face up to 20 years in prison if convicted for Deng’s murder, according to the New York Times.
Sean Callan, a partner at Fraternal Law Partners, a firm that specializes in legal maters involving Greek organizations, says that he’s seen fraternities charged with crimes related to underage drinking in the past, but that they usually just result in the frats in question being dissolved.
“Kind of like with [former energy giant] Enron, when [law firm] Arthur Andersen was charged,” he told me. “There was no more Arthur Andersen. Fraternity chapters are just like companies.”
The attorney has never seen charges this severe against a Greek organization, but sees it becoming the norm in the “foreseeable future.”
Hank Nuwer, a professor at Franklin College in Indiana who has written several books about hazing, said that dangerous and degrading hazing rituals have a lengthy history. “In the Middle Ages, it was both pain and humiliation,” he told me. “Cutting a young student’s lip open and making him drink from a salted cup, paddling, making a blindfolded young man tell his embarrassing confession to a confessor, who was just another student.”