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John Cornyn in Irving Tomorrow to Highlight Recently-Passed Courthouse Dogs Act

BY IRVING WEEKLY STAFF

Irving, Texas. January 17, 2020

U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) will host a roundtable on the benefits of the Courthouse Dogs Act with certified facility dogs and handlers, representatives from the Dallas & Smith County District Attorney’s offices, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center and other local victim support groups, and U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade of the Northern District of Texas tomorrow at Canine Companions for Independence at Baylor Scott & White Health – Kinkeade Campus.

When vulnerable witnesses testify in court – especially children – they often experience emotional trauma that impairs their ability to participate, think, or answer questions, which can hinder the pursuit of justice. Sen. Cornyn’s Courthouse Dogs Act would allow for any party in a federal criminal proceeding to request an order authorizing an available certified courthouse dog to accompany a witness while testifying in federal court, thus helping facilitate a more accurate and fair trial. The bill passed the Senate on December 19th, and Sen. Cornyn and participants will call on the House to take it up soon.

Following the roundtable, there will be a brief tour of the dog training facility and a demonstration to show how the dogs’ specialized training allows them to comfort witnesses while not disrupting courtroom proceedings. Afterward, Sen. Cornyn will hold a joint press conference.


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