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Florida Supreme Court To Hear Appeal In FAMU Band Hazing Case

FAMU Drum Major Robert Champion died due to injuries sustained in a hazing ritual. His family is suing FAMU.
Robert Champion

The Florida Supreme Court will take up an appeal by a former Florida A&M University band member. Dante Martin is serving a seven-year prison sentence for the hazing death of a drum major.

Martin received a 77 month prison sentence related to the death of FAMU Marching 100 drum major Robert Champion. Most of the other people involved in Champion’s death received probation and community service.

Champion was beaten during a hazing ritual in November 2011 aboard a band bus parked outside an Orlando hotel. Martin was the so-called President  of that bus. He was found guilty of manslaughter, felony hazing resulting in death and two counts of misdemeanor hazing.

The Florida Supreme Court says it will hear Martin’s appeal. His attorneys argue the state’s anti-hazing law is unconstitutional because the term “brutality” is undefined, and that the victim’s consent should have been taken into consideration.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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