Look who’s indicted now!

My favorite types of movies are the ones where it really seems like the bad guys are going to win, but at the very last second, the good guys turn it all around. Last week, life imitated art when a Texas grad jury made a stunning decision about Planned Parenthood. The jury cleared the clinic on charges of illegally selling fetal tissue as undercover activists had claimed. INSTEAD, the jury decided to indict the filmmakers themselves!

So, if you haven’t kept up with the story a quick run down is as follows: A group of antiabortion activists masqueraded as buyers for a fake bio-tech company and then used hidden cameras to try and get Planned Parenthood to admit to selling fetal tissue for profit. It looked like Planned Parenthood was really (for lack of a better word), screwed. Especially last August when officials in Texas convened a grand jury to investigate this.

This is the part where it gets really fun.

You see they had a conservative-republican governor who’s conservative-republican lieutenant governor called for a conservative-republican District Attorney to probe one of the conservative-republicans favorite target. And all of this is happening in a conservative-republican state. Simply put, the fix was in – or so they thought.

The investigation completely backfired for the antiabortion groups who called the clinic into question, now THEY’RE the ones being charged with crimes. The surprise indictment by the grand jury said the under cover activist, Sandra Merritt and David Daleiden, broke the law when they allegedly used fake California drivers licenses and posed as buyer of fetal parts.

A group of anti-abortion activist set out to make it appear as if Planned Parenthood was doing something illegal and then not only was the organization vindicated, but the people making the videos were indicted. I mean seriously, do you know just how NOT GUILT you have to be for a grand jury to send your ACCUSERS to trial? Grand juries only listen to the prosecutor – there is no defense. In fact, prosecutors have so much control, it is often said that they could get a grand jury to “indict a ham sandwich.” I kid you not that’s a common phrase – “indict a ham sandwich.” (Unless of course the ham sandwich is a cop… but then that’s a different story).

Of course now, as always with such controversial cases, there are bound to be some haters. Gregg Jarrett of FOX News said, “This looks like what the law refers to as a runaway grand jury. That is a grand jury that did just the opposite of what the district attorney urged them to do. Remember the DA here is a republican. It looks like the jury simply went rouge here.” Oh? Went rouge Mr. Jarret? So according to these people apparently a runaway jury is one that doesn’t do exactly what the prosecutor tells it to do. Isn’t the whole point of a jury that they get to decide? The term “rouge jury” is really an overreach. Nonetheless, this certainly was a surprise twist and a legal bombshell on the impassioned debate over Planned Parenthood.

 

A. Santos

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