What Do You Think? Dogs In The Courtroom
Interesting story from New York about a dog named Rosie in a courtroom. We first learned about this story from California lawyer Mitch Jackson’s blog.
Rosie is a Golden Retriever. She specializes in comforting people who are in stressful situations. In New York, she stood by while a 15 year-old girl was testifying that her father had raped and impregnated her. The trial ended in June and the father of the girl was convicted. The 15 year old girl noted that she was grateful to Rosie for being there for her.
This isn’t too uncommon as courts have allowed trained dogs to comfort witnesses while they were speaking in front of juries, but now an appeal will test to see if dogs like Rosie will be allowed in courts in both New York and across the nation. The defense said in the appeal that Rosie’s presence “infected the trial with such unfairness” that it violated their client’s rights.
Advocates of Rosie and her pawed peers say that the dogs do not affect the substance of the testimony. They just ease the stress and trauma of talking about such horrible events.
There is a lot more to this story which can be read in its entirety at The New York Times website, but we want to know what you think.
Should dogs be allowed to comfort children and vulnerable witnesses while giving testimony in a courtroom?
* Picture courtesy of WagsomeDog via Flickr Creative Commons.