Former military prosecutor to speak about ethics and integrity
Public Relations - Published: February 26, 2008
stuart couchThe Widener Law campus in Delaware will welcome U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Stuart Couch to the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom on Thursday, Feb. 28 to speak about the idea of waging war without losing integrity.

The talk, presented by the Christian Law Society, will be from 5 to 6:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

Couch, a former Marine Corps pilot and prosecutor, made the difficult decision in 2004 not to prosecute Guantanamo Bay prisoner Mohamedou Ould Slahi for terrorist activity linked to the Sept. 11 attacks. After his own lengthy investigation, Couch had concerns that incriminating statements made by Slahi – which would be central to the prosecution – had been obtained through torture. Couch was lead counsel on the case and has called it the toughest decision of his military career. One of his Marine friends had been the co-pilot aboard the second plane that struck the World Trade Center.

Couch also served as the liaison to the Department of Justice and Solicitor General in support of the U.S. Supreme Court litigation of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, a landmark case regarding separation of powers and presidential authority during wartime.

He elected not to renew his three-year assignment to the prosecutor’s office when it expired and in August 2006 Couch assumed his current duties as a judge on the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals. His military decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. He is the recipient of the American Bar Association’s 2007 Norm Maleng “Minister of Justice” Award. He is an Eagle Scout.

Couch’s work on the Slahi case was the subject of a lengthy Wall Street Journal article in March 2007.