A lawyer has been appointed to represent pit bull on trial for his life. The offending canine is facing charges after a near deadly attack on a five-year-old boy. Lawyer appointments usually don't make news, even to represent defendants who attacked children. However, the defendant, Kno, is facing the death penalty.
A Georgia judge appointed lawyer Claude Kicklighter to represent the pit bull who is facing euthanasia after an attack on a child that required two surgeries, reports the ABA Journal.
It does not appear that Kicklighter requested the appointment or has any special expertise in representing dogs. The judge says that he appointed Kicklighter "in the interest of justice," reports the ABA Journal.
An attorney who does specialize in animal cases says that he knows of only two other cases where a lawyer was appointed to represent a dog. One case involved one of the dogs owned by Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.
In most cases, the dog owner will defend the dog or give it up for euthanasia. In this case, the dog owner has already surrendered Kno to the county and it's unclear if he will participate in the defense.
So with virtually no precedence and available case law, what can the appointed Kicklighter argue to save Kno?
There's the popular saying that there are no bad dogs, only bad dog owners. Yet, it is almost always the dog that bears the punishment. Kicklighter can try to argue that the dog owner is responsible for the injuries and that Kno was placed in a position where he had no choice but to attack.
Kicklighter may also try to argue insanity in that the dog was not raised properly and did not know right from wrong.
But Kicklighter's best bet may be to argue that the dog is reformed and will not attack any more children.
- Attorney appointed for dog that attacked child (Savannah Morning News)
- Lawyer is dog's best friend in U.S. attack case (Reuters)
- Fla. Man Accused of Beating Girlfriend with Her Dog (FindLaw's Legally Weird)