On Wednesday, San Francisco Superior Court dismissed 14 of 15 criminal counts levied against pro-life activists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt by Planned Parenthood-supported California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
“As the Daily Wire reported in March, the trumped up charges were brought by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who has received thousands of dollars in donations from the ‘victim’ of the video sting operation, Planned Parenthood,” reports the Daily Wire. “The 15 charges Becerra brought against the pro-life journalists were so over-the-top that even the left-leaning Los Angeles Times condemned them as a ‘disturbing overreach’ that could prove detrimental to future similar journalistic investigations…”
“On Wednesday, the San Francisco Superior Court agreed with the defendants, at least on 14 of the 15 counts,” the Daily Wire continues. “Despite the dismissal, the court did leave the door open by giving Becerra until mid-July to file a revised complaint.”
According to Life News, “The court ruled that counts 1-14 were legally insufficient. The state has the opportunity to amend if it can plead a more legally sufficient and specific complaint. The California’s Attorney General filed 15 criminal counts against Merritt, with counts 1-14 for each of the alleged interviews and count 15 for an alleged conspiracy.”
Pro-life attorney Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel who represents Merritt called news of the dismissed felony charges “a huge victory.”
“We will now turn our attention to dismissing the final count,” said Staver. “Sandra Merritt did nothing wrong. The complaint by the California Attorney General is unprecedented and frankly will threaten every journalist who provides valuable information to the public. This final count will also fall.”
The legal complaint filed by California A.G. Becerra sought to prosecute the pro-life activists for recording conversations with Planned Parenthood employees that exposed the nation's largest abortion provider of selling aborted baby body parts.
“Liberty Counsel argued that the criminal complaint for illegally recording supposedly ‘private’ conversations (in restaurants, hotel lobbies and other public places) – the first ever filed against undercover journalists – was legally deficient for numerous reasons, not the least of which was the Attorney General’s decision to prosecute Merritt in secret proceedings, without identifying even the names of her accusers or purported ‘victims,’” writes Life News. “The complaint did not provide Merritt with the minimum notice required by the Constitution and California law as to what she supposedly did wrong, so that she can mount a proper and vigorous defense. The complaint was also vague and full of inconsistencies…
“These charges were the second set of charges filed against Daleiden and Merritt as the first were filed by pro-abortion prosecutors in Houston,” Life News continues. “Those charges were also eventually dropped and we’re condemned as bogus political charges.”
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