Dogs in the Courtroom

A criminal conviction against a child molester, who was a parent of the victim and got the girl pregnant, has been appealed on the basis that a dog was used to comfort the child during courtroom testimony. The defense attorney's argument is that the increased anxiety in testifying in a criminal case is a necessary part of the process, and that the jury is unfairly swayed by the presence of the dog.

Dogs have been permitted in courtrooms for over twenty years. This case is the first time that their presence is a basis for an appeal of a conviction.

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