Justice was served yesterday when District Judge Brock Thomas dismissed the last remaining charge against David Daleiden, the 27 year-old journalist who made undercover videos allegedly showing Planned Parenthood officials selling baby body parts.
FoxNews.com is reporting on the decision to dismiss the last remaining charge against Daleiden and 63 year-old Sandra Merritt. Judge Thomas dismissed the charge of tampering with government records which was levied by the Harris County prosecutor in conjunction with Daleiden’s use of a fake California driver’s license to conceal their identities while dealing with Planned Parenthood. If convicted, Daleiden could have been forced to serve up to 20 years in state prison.
“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.
“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.
A misdemeanor charge against Daleiden was vacated last month by Texas judge Diane Bull.
“This is a victory, not only for David Daleiden, but also for the First Amendment.” said Life Legal Defense Foundation Executive Director Alexandra Snyder, who assisted in the coordination of Daleiden’s defense. “Undercover journalists should not have to fear criminal penalties for exposing the truth. Justice has finally been served in Harris County.”
Although this decision has Daleiden sighing in relief, his legal problems are not yet over. He is still fighting California Attorney General Kamala Harris, a staunch supporter of Planned Parenthood, who raided Daleiden’s home and confiscated videos, many of which have yet to be seen by the public.
Yesterday’s ruling has caused many prolife leaders, including Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, to call upon Harris to return the property Daleiden’s lawyers claim was illegally seized.
“I again urge California Attorney General Kamala Harris to follow the lead of Judges Thomas and Bull and return Daleiden’s undercover footage exposing the sale of baby body parts, which was illegally seized by California authorities in violation of Daleiden’s constitutional rights,” Perkins said.
“Attorney General Harris must stop using her office to violate Daleiden’s constitutional rights and to hide the truth about the sale of baby body parts in California. She must stop putting the politics of abortion above the interests of mothers and their unborn children. It’s time we get back to the real issue at hand: Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry’s contempt for the law and their exploitation of women and their babies’ body parts.”