Judge Robert Branning and the Children's Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida are working on a proposal that would allow dogs to provide comfort and emotional support to children involved in difficult court cases. The proposal would provide for dogs not inside the courtroom but outside in the wings where children are sometimes asked to relate tragic events and details to attorneys before trial. Although Judge Branning believes that this may be the first step towards allowing dogs in the courtroom during witness testimony, he acknowledges the possibility for prejudice to a defendant in situations where the child testifies before a jury.
For more information, see:
Ben Brasch, "Dogged judge wants canines in Lee County court to calm kids," News-Press.com, May 4, 2016, http://www.news-press.com/story/news/2016/05/03/dogged-judge-wants-canines-lee-county-court-calm-kids/83717168/