All charges dropped against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt

Produced undercover videos exposing attitudes of high ranking PPFA officials

By Dave Andrusko

David Daleiden

David Daleiden

Vindication is sweet, especially when a wrongfully accused defendant, in this case David Daleiden, bucks the system rather than accept a plea bargain.

According to the Houston Chronicle, prosecutors with the Harris County District Attorney’s office dropped all charges again Daleiden and Sandra Merritt before the pair could pursue their legal motion to quash the charges at a hearing this morning.

As LifeNews wrote this morning

On the night the head of the Planned Parenthood abortion company is slated to speak to the Democratic National Convention, the man behind the undercover videos has been vindicated. Again.

The undercover videos were taken by the Center for Medical Progress of leading Planned Parenthood officials laughing and joking about and negotiating for the delivery of intact baby organs, including livers, hearts, lungs, kidneys, brains, and trachea. The ensuing outrage fueled congressional inquiries and a cancellation of Planned Parenthood funding in a number of states.

Daleiden and Merritt were charged with crimes as serious as they were bogus—tampering with a government record (for using false identification to gain access to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast), a felony with a possible jail term of 20 years. Daleiden was also charged with a misdemeanor–soliciting the sale of fetal tissue. Harris County Court at Law Judge Diane Bull dismissed the latter on June 14.

At the time of the charges CMP said

The Center for Medical Progress uses the same undercover techniques that investigative journalists have used for decades in exercising our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and of the press, and follows all applicable laws.

This morning Daleiden characterized the dismissal as “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.” He added, “Planned Parenthood tried to collude with public officials to manipulate the legal process to their own benefit, and they failed.”

Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society, who represented Daleiden said, “This meritless and retaliatory prosecution should never have been brought. Planned Parenthood did wrong here, not David Daleiden.”

Added Mat Staver, the founder of Liberty Counsel, who represented Merritt, “”The indictment was politically-motivated and should never have been filed in the first place.”

Although initially called to investigate Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast PPGC, Ben Johnson explained, “the Harris County grand jury indicted Daleiden and Merritt for using false identification, a felony, and a misdemeanor charge. …The defendants turned down offers of a plea bargain that would result in probation instead of risking decades in a Texas prison, confident they would prevail.”