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Case Dropped Against Producers of Planned Parenthood Videos

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?

    Ragspierre in reply to Valerie. | July 26, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    No. The elements include res judicata on the charge. That isn’t present here.

      legacyrepublican in reply to Ragspierre. | July 26, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      Thanks for your legal insights. Not only helpful plus they don’t cost me $350 an hour like my attorney in Dallas costs me.

impeach obama | July 26, 2016 at 5:25 pm

is this finished ?
can the prosecutors empanel a new grand jury ?

    Ragspierre in reply to impeach obama. | July 26, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Grand juries are always being empaneled in Harris County, and yep, the prosecutors can bring these same charges again.

    Remember Tom DeLay.

      Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | July 26, 2016 at 5:49 pm

      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.

        malclave in reply to Milhouse. | July 26, 2016 at 6:08 pm

        IIRC, it only took 2 tries to get an indictment against DeLay. The problem was that they indicted for something that wasn’t illegal.

        SDN in reply to Milhouse. | July 27, 2016 at 10:10 pm

        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.

Marilyn Mosby does not think any of these legal details impede a prosecution.

OnlyRightDissentAllowed | July 27, 2016 at 2:34 pm

“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.