One of our readers, notablogger, is a supervisory attorney at a big city prosecutor's office. One of her colleagues prosecuted a defendant who cruelly and ruthlessly, and over an extended period of time, exploited a mentally disabled man. The defendant betrayed the victim, wiped him out financially, and treated him as if he had no value as a human being. The story of the defendant's callousness is hard to believe, even for those of us who have been at the business a long time. It's all set out in the Washington Supreme Court opinion filed today.
The victim has the functioning and vulnerabilities of an elementary school-age child. Accordingly, during his testimony, and at the prosecution's request, he was accompanied by a dog, which helped keep him less anxious and more composed than otherwise would have been possible.
The defendant's cruelty, however, persisted right into the trial, so an objection was made to the dog's presence -- the defendant preferring, I guess, to effectively disable the victim from telling his story or, if nothing else, just to add to his misery while he struggled to get it out.
After conviction, the defendant continued complaining, right into the state's highest court, which, I am delighted to report, entered a unanimous judgment for the prosecution. Notablogger argued the case. Judging from the court's excellent opinion, she did a spectacular job.
Hearty congratulations and thanks to her. Her work will now give us all an unanswerable reply when the defense bar gets on its high horse about who is for, and who is against, compassion for the vulnerable.