Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Educating Judges About Animal Cruelty
On the blog (August 22) of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, ALDF attorney Geoff Flek discusses his experience with some judges presiding over animal cruelty cases:
In the last few months, I've had judges in criminal cruelty and fighting cases refer to a case as "The Woof-Woof" case, ask at a restitution hearing, "Why should a defendant convicted of animal fighting be responsible for reimbursing rescuers the costs of rehabilitating rescued dogs?", strike a juror sua sponte on his own because she revealed she was a member of the ASPCA, and comment, "This is just a dog case - what's the big deal?"
He emphasizes the need to educate judges and the community about the importance of these cases and the link between animal cruelty and violence to humans.