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Denis Poroy, Associated Press
Marine Corps Pvt. Lazzaric Caldwell poses for a photo Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012 in Oceanside, Calif. Caldwell, a Marine Corps private who cut his wrists in an undisputed suicide attempt, is fighting his conviction for intentional self-injury, a military charge often used to prosecute service members who try to shirk their duties. He contends that prosecution of a genuine suicide attempt should be prohibited especially in light of concerns about the relatively high military suicide rate during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — A Marine private who slit his wrists in a suicide attempt is fighting his conviction for deliberately hurting himself.

A lawyer for Pvt. Lazzaric (leh-ZAHR'-ik) Caldwell of Camp Pendleton, Calif., argues the punishment is inconsistent with the armed forces' efforts to battle a rise in suicides during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Caldwell pleaded guilty in 2010 in Okinawa, Japan. His initial appeal was denied, and his lawyer said this week he will ask the military's highest court to hear the case.

Caldwell was never deployed but has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. His lawyer says it's wrong to prosecute such service members for genuine suicide attempts.

Prosecutors say Caldwell was properly convicted of a charge that helps maintain good order and discipline in the armed forces..