Donald Guter is Dean and President of South Texas College of Law. He’s a former Navy JAG who represented service members accused of crimes in other countries. He says some nations could follow the example Texas and the U.S. set in the way they handled Humberto Leal.
“Which is, if they arrest an American overseas, they could choose to not give them access to or protection of consul, or even access to the embassy. And, just, basically, carry forth the same process as we did in this case.”
Dean Guter says the chances of that kind of retaliation are low in places like Europe. He says something like that could happen in Mexico. But he thinks the more likely result will be Mexico losing enthusiasm for cooperating with the U.S. in general.
“And that’s a cooperation we need in a lot of areas, including the drug wars. It might not be a retaliation that you would look at as a right on, tit-for-tat. It may be in another area where we need cooperation, and we can’t get it.”
Guter supported efforts to stay Leal’s execution. He says it wasn’t out of sympathy for the convicted rapist and killer, but out of support for international protections, and the rule of law. Congress is considering a bill that would require court reviews for cases like Leal’s — condemned foreigners who are not offered the help of their consulates.