In 29 years beside the bench, court reporter Mindie Baab has seen more than her fair share of sad and scary court cases.
The most heartbreaking involved children, forced to put on a brave face and testify before a jury of 12 strangers, a judge in a black robe above their right shoulder, lawyers in suits pacing in front of them, and the person they have to testify against, staring back at them.
“A lot of times they can’t have their parent in the court room, or their parent is the perpetrator, and so someone from the District Attorney’s office, a stranger, would come and
sit with them,” Baab said.
She’d heard of programs in other states where kids could be accompanied by a therapy dog. She started to champion the idea, but learned it was not allowed in Oklahoma.
Then, in 2014, Gov. Mary Fallin signed a new statute into law that.....MORE