Posts tagged law
With the issue of gay marriage before the Supreme Court, the gay rights movement aims to strike a blow for equality, demonstrating that a person’s sexual orientation should not in any way affect how that individual is treated before their peers and, equally importantly, before the law.
Although the gay marriage movement has only hit its stride in the United States in the 21st century, gay men and women have been a part of America since this nation’s founding — and long before that.
it’s not just a civil war day, but also a “We the People” day!
September 17, 1787: The U.S. Constitution is adopted.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
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. Prosecutors here noted that she is also in the vanguard of a growing trial trend: in Arizona, Hawaii, Indiana, Idaho and some other states in the last few years, courts have allowed such trained dogs to offer children and other vulnerable witnesses nuzzling solace in front of juries.
The new role for dogs as testimony enablers can raise thorny legal questions, however, with defense lawyers arguing that the dogs may unfairly sway jurors with their cuteness and the natural empathy they attract — whether a witness is telling the truth or not — and some prosecutors insisting that the courtroom dogs can be a crucial comfort to those enduring the ordeal of testifying, especially children.
The new witness-stand role for dogs in a handful of states began in 2003, when the prosecution won permission for a dog named Jeeter with a beige button nose to help in a sexual assault case in Seattle. “Sometimes the dog means the difference between a conviction and an acquittal,” said Ellen O’Neill-Stephens, a Seattle prosecutor who has become a campaigner for the dog-in-court cause.
(Photo of Rosie, a dog that accompanies children as they testify in court, with Lori Stella, a social worker, outside the Dutchess County Courthouse in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., by Kelly Shimoda for The Times)