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Arkansas judge rejects law to let dog comfort witnesses

Griffen says court authority usurped

By John Lynch

This article was published April 17, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.

file-photo-barb-a-courthouse-dog-shows-off-her-skills-in-2016-by-taking-a-basket-to-fawn-borden-a-victim-witness-coordinator-at-the-criminal-justice-building-in-conway

FILE PHOTO: Barb, a courthouse dog, shows off her skills in 2016 by taking a basket to Fawn Borden, a victim witness coordinator, at the criminal-justice building in Conway.

An Arkansas law that allows child victims of sex crimes to testify with a dog sitting next to them for comfort is unconstitutional because it usurps the ability of the state's judges to run their courts, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen ruled on Monday.

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Print Headline: Judge rejects law to let dog comfort witnesses

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Tallcoach says... April 17, 2018 at 7:39 a.m.

Griffen is at it again; the man is crazy.

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DoubleBlind says... April 17, 2018 at 7:49 a.m.

Assinine. I’m starting to think Griffen just looks for any excuse to keep himself in the news.

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Government4thePeople says... April 17, 2018 at 7:53 a.m.

Tallcoach is right, Judge Griffen is nuts. In his crazy world, it's okay for him to leave the courtroom and go lay on a gurney in front of the Governor's mansion to protest the death penalty but then not okay for a little girl to have a trained service dog comfort her in the courtroom while she's being asked terrible questions about how she was raped. This so called "judge" has lost his mind and needs to be retired and dropped off at the nut ward.

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skeptic1 says... April 17, 2018 at 8:51 a.m.

Someone please run against this incompetent man, the bar is obviously very low so finding a candidate shouldn't be that hard. Has he not noticed that several judges right under his nose have their dogs in the court house daily? How in God's name does a judge/minister not see the value of comforting a frightened child or traumatized witness.

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Delta2 says... April 17, 2018 at 8:56 a.m.

I can (somewhat) understand Griffen's interpretation of the law, but this is a prime example of a lack of common sense in our legal system today. It's a good idea that has been shot down just because of a turf issue and technicality.

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ZeebronZ says... April 17, 2018 at 9:06 a.m.

Totally bogus. The dude is afraid of dogs, and I bet he's afraid someone will use a drug enforcement dog in his courtroom and POP goes the weasel, right at the bench! Coward.

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glh05230944 says... April 17, 2018 at 9:19 a.m.

It appears that this judge would be well qualified to serve as legal counsel for the POTUS.

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GeneralMac says... April 17, 2018 at 9:41 a.m.

As the 8th poster, I will be the first to support the judge's decision.
( no, I don't like this judge either, but his reasoning on this makes sense)

Separation of powers must be preserved or we will have the tail wagging the dog.
( no pun intended )

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drs01 says... April 17, 2018 at 10:10 a.m.

As someone whose family member is allergic to dogs and once almost died after being exposed on an airline flight , this is finally something from the mouth of Griffen I can agree with. I feel that this "service dog" concept is just another way cheap ass people avoid paying extra for having pets on planes, in hotel rooms, restaurants etc. Visually impaired folks are the only ones I support.

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SJB says... April 17, 2018 at 10:32 a.m.

So, Judge G is saying it is within his authority to allow a comfort dog to help a raped and abused 11 year old child who is expected to sit in a courtroom and testify against her abuser. However, because another branch of government overstepped its authority, the judge will refuse the comfort dog for a raped and abused 11 year old child who is expected to sit in a courtroom and testify against her abuser. Sir, your arrogance has overstepped its authority and has dominated your common sense.

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