Imagine you’re in court, defending yourself against charges of murder. How would you feel if it turned out that your fate depended on how a dog responded to you? Or to put it more accurately, how the people in the courtroom interpreted how the dog responded to you?
That was the situation in a recent murder trial in Tours, France. During a preliminary hearing, the judge tried an experiment: Bring the victim’s dog to the witness stand and see how he reacted to the defendant. The defendant was given a baseball bat and told to gesture as if he were threatening the dog, Tango.