Legal Eagle, on Skeptic Lawyer, tells us that a goat is being held on suspicion of committing an armed robbery in Nigeria.
Rather than being a page from George Orwell‘s Animal Farm, this is actually not quite as bizarre as it seems on first blush. A bear in Macedonia, which repeatedly raided a beekeeper’s hives, was found guilty last year of theft and criminal damage; and the wonderful movie The Hour of the Pig (imdb) reflects the common practice in the middle ages of putting animals on trial. I have already discussed some of the legal issues in my post Isn’t it funny, how a bear likes honey? I can feel a movie coming on about 419 scammers getting their goat!
In the meantime, Legal Eagle – who has been here before – asks about the current defendant:
I wonder what rights the goat has. Does it have the right to legal representation? To be treated equally before the law?
If these rights are provided to human defendants in the Nigerian courts, and if the law is anthropomorphically prepared to put a goat on trial, then of course Nigerian law should afford these rights to the goat as well. In the end, all goats are equal, aren’t they?