July 26, 2016
All charges dropped against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt
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.
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.
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.”
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