Merritt Seeks Dismissal of All Criminal Charges

Jul 28, 2020

Liberty Counsel is presenting oral argument before the San Francisco Superior Court today asking for dismissal of all 10 criminal counts, including the charge for “false identification documents,” brought against Sandra Merritt by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra for her undercover journalism work in exposing Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in baby body parts.  

Liberty Counsel Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Litigation Counsel Harry Mihet will present arguments today at 9:30 a.m. PT/12:30 p.m. ET via Zoom. 

A California Penal Code 995 motion asks the trial judge in a felony case to dismiss one or more of the charges after a California preliminary hearing but before trial. This motion allows for a new judge to review the record and determine if the surviving counts should have survived, or if the newly added count could have been added.

Judge Christopher Hite previously dismissed six of the original 15 felony charges as he made factual findings that the recorded conversations were not confidential. Given those factual findings, Attorney General Becerra cannot bring those dismissed charges again. Becerra then filed an “Information” on December 13, 2019, adding an additional count to Merritt’s charges, even though the statute of limitations had long ago expired for any new claims.

The undercover videos, some of which were recorded at the National Abortion Federation’s (NAF) 2014 and 2015 abortion convention and trade shows, exposed Planned Parenthood’s illegal involvement in harvesting and selling aborted baby body parts to companies such as StemExpress. The recordings capture Planned Parenthood executives haggling over the prices of baby body parts, picking through bloodied arms and legs of aborted babies in a pie tray, and discussing how to alter abortion methods to obtain better body parts for sale. 

Liberty Counsel’s Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Sandra Merritt committed no crime in this politically-motivated collusion between Planned Parenthood and Attorney General Becerra. Every criminal charge against her should be dropped. In fact, her investigation has clearly revealed that it is Planned Parenthood who should receive the criminal charges.” 

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