The indictments of the Harris County Grand Jury in Texas against David R. Daleiden and Sandra S. Merritt are the worst misuse of the power of prosecution that I have witnessed in 33 years of practicing law:
Prosecutors in Harris County said one of the leaders of the Center for Medical Progress — an anti-abortion group that made secretly recorded videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood officials trying to illegally profit from the sale of fetal tissue — had been indicted on a charge of tampering with a governmental record, a felony, and on a misdemeanor charge related to purchasing human organs.
That leader, David R. Daleiden, 27, the director of the center, had posed as a biotechnology representative to infiltrate Planned Parenthood affiliates and surreptitiously record his efforts to procure tissue for research. Another center employee, Sandra S. Merritt, 62, was indicted on a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record.
The record-tampering charges accused Mr. Daleiden and Ms. Merritt of making and presenting fake California driver’s licenses, with the intent to defraud, for their April meeting at Planned Parenthood in Houston.
Go here to read the rest.
Let us count the ways a first year law student should be able to get this trash dismissed:
1. Lack of scienter-Daleiden and Merritt were attempting to expose Planned Parenthood’s sale of fetal tissue. They had no intent to actually purchase such tissue.
2. No sale-The grand Jury simultaneously found that Planned Parenthood was not attempting to sell fetal tissue. They then found that Daleiden and Merritt were purchasing tissue from a vendor who was not selling tissue. That makes no logical sense, let alone a coherent legal charge.
3. Freedom of the press-All of the activities of Daleiden and Merritt were undertaken under the cover of the First Amendment freedom of the press. Such sting operations are part and parcel of the normal functioning of the media in this country and an attempt to criminalize such activity raises grave constitutional questions.
4. No intent to defraud-The California driver’s license charge indicates how the prosecutor involved was reaching to get a felony indictment, purchasing or selling fetal tissue sadly being only a misdemeanor. This is the type of charge that only a prosecutor desperate to find anything to nail a target of an investigation on would bring. The charge is complete rubbish since there was no intent to defraud Planned Parenthood of anything, but rather an intent to expose wrongdoing.
Having looked over the charges this afternoon, I can say confidently that this is clearly a result intended by the prosecutor. This was not the result of a grand jury acting out on its own, but rather the usual outcome where a prosecutor gets what he wants out of a grand jury. Devon Anderson is up for election this year and is a Republican. She revealed the findings of the grand jury after the filing period had passed for her to draw an opponent in the primary. I would recommend that pro-lifers and Republicans vote for her Democrat opponent in the fall, absent a viable third party candidate.
This type of misuse of the prosecutor’s office should not go unpunished. Either she does not know what is going on in her own office and allowed pro-abort assistant prosecutors to transform a Grand Jury called to consider criminal charges against Planned Parenthood into a weapon against those who exposed the ghoulish trade of Planned Parenthood in the remains of their victims, or she is a pro-abort herself and planned this miscarriage of justice. In either case she is unfit to hold public office.