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Former Navy Judge Advocate General to Give Talk at Juniata on Torture

(Posted November 7, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Don Guter, dean of the Duquesne University School of Law and retired rear admiral for the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps, will lecture at Juniata College on how the U.S policy on torture was changed, justified and implemented during the Iraq War and how such a policy change harmed the United States' reputation in the world community at 4:15 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 20, in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science on the Juniata campus.

The talk is free and open to the public. The lecture is sponsored by Juniata's Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies.

"I have opposed the policy and believe it has increased the risk to our own forces, harmed our reputation in the world community and hampered our legitimate efforts to thwart terrorism in the first instance and to hold accountable those responsible for planning and conducting attacks," Guter says. "I also believe it is not the most effective way to obtain actionable intelligence."

Guter has been dean of Duquesne's law school since 2005. In his time there, he established an intense bar examination preparation program, improved the legal research and writing program and doubled enrollment for minorities and the school's evening division.

Before coming to Duquesne, Guter was chief executive officer of Vinson Hall Corp., a continuing care retirement community, from 2002 to 2005 and served as executive director of the Navy Marine Coast Guard Residence Foundation during the same time period.

Guter served 32 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring as Judge Advocate General of the Navy, where he led the JAG Corps, comprised of 1,800 active duty, reserve and civilian lawyers, 1,000 paralegals and more than 300 support staff stationed around the world. He held the post from 2000 to 2002.

He earned a bachelor's degree in 1970 from the University of Colorado and entered the Navy as an ensign, serving on the USS Sylvania and working in the Human Resources Management Center at Norfolk Naval Base. He earned a law degree in 1977 from Duquesne and graduated from Naval Justice School in 1977.

As a military lawyer, Guter served as a trial and defense counsel at the Naval Legal Service Office in Seattle, Wash. and transferred to the Great Lakes Naval Recruit Training Command in 1980, where he was a staff attorney to the Administrative and Service School Command. He was then assigned as a Special Court-Martial Judge for the Atlantic Judicial Circuit Branch Office at the Great Lakes operation.

He became Special Counsel to the Chief of Naval Operations in 1990 and subsequently commanded the Naval Legal Service Office in Norfolk from 1994 to 1996. He was named Executive Assistant to the Judge Advocate General in 1996 and became Deputy Judge Advocate General in 1997.

He is a member of the American and Pennsylvania Bar Associations and is president of the Judge Advocates Association Foundation.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.