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Dog Helps Teenage Rape Victim Testify Sparking Debate Over Use Of Canines In Courtrooms

776px-FEMA_-_20641_-_Photograph_by_Robert_Kaufmann_taken_on_12-20-2005_in_LouisianaShould dogs be allowed in courtrooms to comfort the victims? The New York Times reports:

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.

Rosie is a golden retriever therapy dog who specializes in comforting people when they are under stress. Both prosecutors and defense lawyers have described her as adorable, though she has been known to slobber.

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Stephen Colbert To Testify Before Congress

First Elmo, then Kevin Costner, and now Stephen Colbert gets to testify before Congress at an immigration hearing entitled “Protecting America’s Harvest.” With Colbert testifying in Congress and Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Return Sanity,” the lines between politics and political comedy are increasingly blurred. From New York Daily News:

It’s no joke — Stephen Colbert will testify before Congress.

The Comedy Central host will head to Capitol Hill and appear before a House Judiciary subcommittee for a hearing on immigration called “Protecting America‘s Harvest.”

Colbert will speak alongside United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez.

The comedian spent a day working at a farm in New York last month after Rodriguez came on the show to discuss UFW’s “Take Our Jobs” campaign, which challenges the view that illegal immigrants are stealing jobs from Americans.

Continues at New York Daily News

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