Case Dropped Against Producers of Planned Parenthood Videos
They caught the organization on tape selling baby parts.
A Texas court has dropped the remaining charges against the pro-life activists who caught Planned Parenthood officials on tape selling baby parts. David Daleiden, 27, said:
“The dismissal of the bogus, politically motivated charges against [Center for Medical Progress] project lead David Daleiden and investigator Sandra Merritt is a resounding vindication of the First Amendment rights of all citizen journalists, and also a clear warning to any of Planned Parenthood’s political cronies who would attack whistleblowers to protect Planned Parenthood from scrutiny,” Daleiden said in a statement.
Planned Parenthood filed suit against them in January:
The lawsuit claimed Daleiden and his co-conspirators maliciously deceived and trespassed on private property of both affiliates. It also expanded the damages caused by Daleiden and his co-conspirators’ reckless actions and dangerous rhetoric, contributing to a hostile climate in Louisiana, Texas and Colorado, that enabled increased political and violent attacks against Planned Parenthood health centers and other abortion providers.
In Houston, Daleiden and his co-conspirators trespassed on Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast and Planned Parenthood Center for Choice’s private property. The organization said the activists used false identities to enter sensitive clinical areas, secretly and maliciously videotaping without concern for patient privacy or safety.
But the Harris County District Attorney’s Office said they dropped the charges due to “a legal technicality with the grand jury’s term.” The lawyers for the activists said “the grand jury did not have the authority to indict Mr. Daleiden and Ms. Merritt during the so-called holdover period, and prosecutors appeared to have agreed.” The lawyers insisted they could not bring in new matters:
One of Mr. Daleiden’s lawyers, Jared Woodfill, said that once the grand jury’s term had expired and then extended, prosecutors could not bring a new matter and a new target of investigation before grand jurors during the holdover period.
“The evidence that we had was very clear that David was never a target of an investigation during the original term, and so the indictment was fatally flawed,” Mr. Woodfill said.
Their videos forced the Health and Human Services to open an investigation into Planned Parenthood. While Daleiden showed happiness over the news, he is happier that the investigation is still going on:
“A year after the release of the undercover videos, the ongoing nationwide investigation of Planned Parenthood by the House Select Investigative Panel makes clear that Planned Parenthood is the guilty party in the harvesting and trafficking of baby body parts for profit,” Daleiden said.
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It sounds like the prosecutors are doing their best to avoid a finding that the lawsuit was terminated in a manner favorable to the defendants. If so, does that type of termination negate a cause of action for malicious prosecution in Texas?
No. The elements include res judicata on the charge. That isn’t present here.
Thanks for your legal insights. Not only helpful plus they don’t cost me $350 an hour like my attorney in Dallas costs me.
is this finished ?
can the prosecutors empanel a new grand jury ?
Grand juries are always being empaneled in Harris County, and yep, the prosecutors can bring these same charges again.
Remember Tom DeLay.
They’d have to get it past another grand jury, though. Remember, it took three tries before Ronnie Earle could find a grand jury that would buy his charges against DeLay. This prosecutor lucked out the first time, but might not have such luck on a second attempt.
IIRC, it only took 2 tries to get an indictment against DeLay. The problem was that they indicted for something that wasn’t illegal.
The TX Lt Governor is calling for an investigation of the Hrris County DA, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Texas AG will oblige.
Babies and humanitarians, 1. Abortionists and cannibals, 0.
A battle won, but the war continues.
Yeah, we want to be like El Salvador where a women can get 30 years for a miscarriage. http://www.latimes.com/world/great-reads/la-fg-c1-el-salvador-women-20150415-story.html. Then we can truly claim to be humane.
Better El Salvador than Venezuela.
Marilyn Mosby does not think any of these legal details impede a prosecution.
And our now corrupt FBI thinks they warrant prosecution only if there is a failure to pay them off.
“House Select Investigative Panel makes clear that Planned Parenthood is the guilty party” Nope, the Panel can’t find anyone guilty, although they do try to act like Grand Inquisitors.
Well, now that Gosnell’s disciples don’t have the Harris County DA in their corner, we’ll see what TX can do about it.