RUFF LIFE: Denver DA Hires Dog To Help Victims Cope With 'Trauma'

Denver district attorney Beth McCann (D.) and Bodhi the therapy dog
January 12, 2023

A progressive prosecutor in Denver may be barking up the wrong tree with her latest staff hire: a labrador retriever.

District Attorney Beth McCann (D.) brought in an "emotional support" dog named Bodhi to help "in the investigation of crimes, in trial preparation, and with courtroom testimony," according to a press release.

"The nature of our work is often traumatic," McCann said of the credentialed canine, who is an internationally certified facility dog. "Bodhi's comforting presence helps people, and particularly children, survive their trauma and participate more openly and fully in the criminal justice process. Bodhi also supports our employees' well-being with every tail wag, game of fetch, and belly rub."

McCann's office did not respond to a request for comment asking how Bodhi could aid "in the investigation of crimes."

"Bodhi," named for the Buddhist concept of "enlightenment," will "provide emotional support for victims, witnesses, and their family members." With judges' permission, the pooch may also lie at the feet of someone who is testifying.

The hairy decision is the latest move by progressive prosecutors to address "trauma"—rather than hold criminals accountable—in the American justice system. Embattled Philadelphia prosecutor Larry Krasner (D.) pledged to foreground the issue in his office, going so far as to suggest that it will prevent future offenses.

"There is a lot of research that trauma suffered is reacted later as crime," he said soon after his first election in 2017.

McCann is among a cohort of left-wing prosecutors propped up by the liberal billionaire George Soros's network of radical criminal justice groups. In 2019, she accompanied Krasner and far-left Los Angeles district attorney George Gascón (D.) on a trip to Portugal funded by the liberal megadonor's Fair and Just Prosecution, which helps elect the "reform-minded" prosecutors. The group is a project of the Tides Center, which has received at least $3.5 million from Soros.

Like Krasner, McCann is committed to "systemic changes" and has launched a unit in her office to review supposedly wrongful convictions, announcing she could potentially overturn at least seven sentences.

A man whom Krasner's office freed last year committed a second murder just months after his release.

A Denver judge told McCann's office the dog would be a welcome addition to her courtroom, which "can be a stressful environment for many people, so putting participants at ease helps us get to the truth." Shannon McFate, Bodhi's handler and a so-called victim advocate in the office, said that "dogs do absorb emotion."

McCann came under fire last year for dropping charges against an unlicensed security guard who shot and killed a protester at a right-wing political rally in Denver. That security guard later sued the news organization—which had hired him to protect its reporters at the rally—saying he was still coping with "severe emotional distress," diagnosed as post-traumatic stress disorder.