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By Helping a Girl Testify at a Rape Trial, a Dog Ignites a Legal Debate
New York Times ^ | August 8, 2011 | WILLIAM GLABERSON

Posted on 08/09/2011 1:01:41 AM PDT by mrjesse

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — Rosie, the first judicially approved courtroom dog in New York, was in the witness box here nuzzling a 15-year-old girl who was testifying that her father had raped and impregnated her. Rosie sat by the teenager’s feet. At particularly bad moments, she leaned in. When the trial ended in June with the father’s conviction, the teenager “was most grateful to Rosie above all,” said David A. Crenshaw, a psychologist who works with the teenager.

“She just kept hugging Rosie,” he continued.

Now an appeal planned by the defense lawyers is placing Rosie at the heart of a legal debate that will test whether there will be more Rosies in courtrooms in New York and, possibly, other states. [snip] His lawyers, David S. Martin and Steven W. Levine of the public defender’s office, have raised a series of objections that they say seems likely to land the case in New York’s highest court. They argue that as a therapy dog, Rosie responds to people under stress by comforting them, whether the stress comes from confronting a guilty defendant or lying under oath.

But they say jurors are likely to conclude that the dog is helping victims expose the truth. “Every time she stroked the dog,” Mr. Martin said in an interview, “it sent an unconscious message to the jury that she was under stress because she was telling the truth.” ...

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: courts; dog; doggieping; newyork; ny
For Pete's sake, just give the defendant a dog too! ha!
1 posted on 08/09/2011 1:01:45 AM PDT by mrjesse
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To: mrjesse

how about a cat?

but no badgers. that would be badgering the witness.


2 posted on 08/09/2011 1:06:07 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (There's gonna be a Redneck Revolution! (See my freep page) [rednecks come in many colors])
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To: mrjesse

If the defendant has prior convictions, make it a porcupine.


3 posted on 08/09/2011 1:13:19 AM PDT by anonsquared
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To: HiTech RedNeck
No badgers?
4 posted on 08/09/2011 1:17:18 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Just once I'd like someone to call me 'Sir' without adding 'You're making a scene.' - Homer Simpson)
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To: mrjesse

What a liberal crock.


5 posted on 08/09/2011 1:45:56 AM PDT by org.whodat (What does the Republican party stand for////??? absolutely nothing.)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Doggieping!


6 posted on 08/09/2011 1:56:01 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

What about lounge lizards? Or church mice? [tiny little hymns in the background]


7 posted on 08/09/2011 3:43:57 AM PDT by Pecos (Constitutionalist. Liberty and Honor will not die on my watch.)
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To: mrjesse

Wolverines, I want wolverines in the courtroom! They will get the truth out of ya!


8 posted on 08/09/2011 3:53:23 AM PDT by mc5cents
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To: mrjesse

Hey lawyers, STFU.............


9 posted on 08/09/2011 3:56:24 AM PDT by SECURE AMERICA (Where can I sign up for the New American Revolution and the Crusades 2012?)
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To: mrjesse

The dog was slipping answers to girl. One blink of the eyes means yes, two blinks means no, three, I’ve got dirt in my eye.


10 posted on 08/09/2011 3:58:26 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: mrjesse

Anyone else notice how nowadays people are letting their dogs walk them when it used to be people just walking their dogs?


11 posted on 08/09/2011 4:03:24 AM PDT by equaviator ("There's a (datum) plane on the horizon coming in...see it?")
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To: mrjesse

Anyone else notice how nowadays people are letting their dogs walk them when it used to be people walking their dogs?


12 posted on 08/09/2011 4:04:26 AM PDT by equaviator ("There's a (datum) plane on the horizon coming in...see it?")
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To: mrjesse
Rosie, the first judicially approved courtroom dog in New York, was in the witness box here nuzzling a 15-year-old girl who was testifying that her father had raped and impregnated her.

Just wonder if they did a DNA test on the baby. Could confirm if the father was the father.

It would make the dog a moot point.

13 posted on 08/09/2011 4:11:05 AM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: Pontiac

The dog is a moot point, damn a dog does what it is trained to do, and yes, it would distort the court room process. DNA evidence is all that is needed here. How stupid is the prosecutor are the judge that let’s his court room be made into a zoo.


14 posted on 08/09/2011 4:25:13 AM PDT by org.whodat (What does the Republican party stand for////??? absolutely nothing.)
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To: org.whodat
How stupid is the prosecutor are the judge that let’s his court room be made into a zoo.

Well there is the problem of getting the fathers DNA. He does not have to give a sample.

But it could be obtained in other ways say a father’s brother, or the father’s father, sister or the girl herself.

A male relative is best because the DNA of the Y chromosome is passed from the father only. But of course this is only available if the child is male.

15 posted on 08/09/2011 4:39:14 AM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: Pontiac

We have moved past that, a judge can order you to give DNA, no different than a finger print in the eye of the law.


16 posted on 08/09/2011 4:49:37 AM PDT by org.whodat (What does the Republican party stand for////??? absolutely nothing.)
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To: org.whodat

If it was your Dad perping on you(Male or Female). I bet you would get a cigar smoking chimp if it would help you put the scum away for many years.


17 posted on 08/09/2011 4:54:42 AM PDT by Colorado Cowgirl (God bless America!)
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To: Colorado Cowgirl
No, the scum should have been put away on the DNA evidence by itself and not risk the case getting tossed and the scum walking free, which is what may happen here.
18 posted on 08/09/2011 4:59:29 AM PDT by org.whodat (What does the Republican party stand for////??? absolutely nothing.)
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To: mrjesse

Ho hum, the usual losing lawyer effort to grasp at straws in hoping the appeals process will provide the second byte at the apple.


19 posted on 08/09/2011 5:08:26 AM PDT by SES1066 (1776 to 2011, 235 years and counting in the GRAND EXPERIMENT!)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

ummmm,

that might prove CATastrophic to the witness’ credibility......

end it now, no more punnies


20 posted on 08/09/2011 5:12:00 AM PDT by jbp1 (be nice now)
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To: Pontiac
From the article itself, we know the father was charged with impregnating his daughter, but we don't know if she has a lving child. It could be (hypothesis here) that the baby-DNA is not available because the baby died via a miscarriage, was aborted, or died in infancy.
21 posted on 08/09/2011 5:20:55 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Just the fact,s ma'am, just the facts.)
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To: equaviator
Anyone else notice how nowadays people are letting their dogs walk them when it used to be people walking their dogs?

Yes.
22 posted on 08/09/2011 5:24:44 AM PDT by PieterCasparzen (We need to fix things ourselves)
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To: AnAmericanMother; Titan Magroyne; Badeye; Shannon; SandRat; arbooz; potlatch; ...
WOOOF!

The Doggie Ping list is for FReepers who would like to be notified of threads relating to all things canid. If you would like to join the Doggie Ping Pack (or be unleashed from it), FReemail me.

23 posted on 08/09/2011 6:07:28 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
It could be (hypothesis here) that the baby-DNA is not available because the baby died via a miscarriage, was aborted, or died in infancy.

The only way that the DNA of the baby would not have been available for the court is if the baby died via a miscarriage before the crime was reported.

If the baby died after the crime was reported the girl should have been in the care of state (either in foster care or with some family member appointed guardian by a court).

If the loss of the child happened after the crime was reported if should have been made clear to the guardian that the corpse was state evidence.

In any event other than an abortion the body should have been preserved as human remains.

24 posted on 08/09/2011 6:10:48 AM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: SECURE AMERICA

There is no low ,too low, for a lawyer ,to go.


25 posted on 08/09/2011 6:11:37 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: HiTech RedNeck
“Badgers? We don't need no stinkin’ badgers!”

Oh sorry, what were we talking about?

26 posted on 08/09/2011 6:15:51 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: Ditter

The defense is Badgering the witness your honor


27 posted on 08/09/2011 6:22:02 AM PDT by vwbug
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To: HiTech RedNeck

but no badgers...

no, we don’t need no stinkin’ badgers.


28 posted on 08/09/2011 6:25:16 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: Ditter; HiTech RedNeck
Raul's Wild Kingdom
29 posted on 08/09/2011 6:27:39 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: Ditter; HiTech RedNeck
We don't need no stinking badgers clip
30 posted on 08/09/2011 6:30:54 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: mrjesse

If she was raped and impregnated, why not just test the resulting baby’s DNA and avoid making the girl testify all together?


31 posted on 08/09/2011 6:33:25 AM PDT by LongElegantLegs (Use it up, wear it out, make it over or do without.)
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To: MrB

LOL!


32 posted on 08/09/2011 6:33:47 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: Venturer

Prosecutors are lawyers, too...


33 posted on 08/09/2011 6:39:58 AM PDT by LongElegantLegs (Use it up, wear it out, make it over or do without.)
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To: Pecos

Give him a gerbil. It’ll open him up to his soon to be new experiences, as it were.


34 posted on 08/09/2011 6:40:21 AM PDT by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: Pontiac

DNA could be gotten from the father by court order, whether he wanted to give it or not.Depending on the girl’s age, that’ll give you a Rape 3d, or at best, a Rape 2d.

That aside, the girl’s testimony would be needed if forcible compulsion, i.e Rape 1st was involved.


35 posted on 08/09/2011 6:43:19 AM PDT by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: LongElegantLegs

Yeah ,Like Mike Nifong, the prosecutor in the Duke case.


36 posted on 08/09/2011 6:45:37 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: SES1066

Doesn’t it matter in what manner the prosecution won? Would you cheer your team so much if they could manage to get drunk, blind umpires?

This very kind of scenario is how bright lines (or not so bright ones) get drawn by the USSC. The appeal here will most definitely be about a point of law.


37 posted on 08/09/2011 6:50:03 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (There's gonna be a Redneck Revolution! (See my freep page) [rednecks come in many colors])
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To: PieterCasparzen

Thanks, I needed that.


38 posted on 08/09/2011 7:35:08 AM PDT by equaviator ("There's a (datum) plane on the horizon coming in...see it?")
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To: Venturer

Yes, exactly! I think we’re on the same page...I meant to say that defense lawyers are not always the bad guys.


39 posted on 08/09/2011 7:44:55 AM PDT by LongElegantLegs (Use it up, wear it out, make it over or do without.)
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To: org.whodat
If the DNA evidence was available (and if he forced her to get an abortion, which is pretty common, it wouldn't be), a jury is still going to want live testimony. You'd be surprised how many jurors are suspicious of scientific evidence all by itself, with no framework.

And there's also the matter of the defendant's right to be confronted by the witnesses against him. The Child Hearsay Rule has been enacted in many states to sidestep this, but in some jurisdictions the victim still has to take the stand. And, again, many jurors want to hear from the victim before they'll convict.

You can never predict how an appeals court is going to rule, but it seems to me that allowing the dog in the witness box is along the lines of allowing the victim to testify behind a screen so she doesn't have to look at the perp, or allowing her mama or sister to sit next to her -- especially with children, the trial judge has a lot of discretion in controlling his courtroom and directing the examination of witnesses. At least he does around here.

40 posted on 08/09/2011 8:39:08 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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