According to an attorney for Sandra Merritt in the Planned Parenthood v. The Center for Medical Progress civil suit, the trial has been going well for the Merritt and the rest of the defense, but not without major obstacles to overcome.
Horation (Harry) Mihet, chief litigation counsel for Liberty Counsel representing Merritt, said on Facebook that the “Court is handicapping us in some VERY major and significant ways.” For example, he explained that the judge has told the jury that the case is not about the illegal conduct of Planned Parenthood that CMP caught on video, but instead about the alleged illegal conduct of the CMP team.
“Thus, the Court is NOT allowing us to play ANY portion of the videos that show how Planned Parenthood broke the law by profiting from the sale of baby parts,” he explained. “To show that the videos were recorded, Planned Parenthood is playing only very carefully edited snippets, of only the most innocuous things (people saying ‘hello’). And we can’t play the rest of the videos that show Planned Parenthood’s abhorrent crimes and inhuman conduct.”
This decision from Judge William Orrick III is likely a result of a request by attorney for Planned Parenthood Amy Bomse, who asked him to limit specific pieces of the undercover recorded conversations which Bomse called “salacious, concerning quotes.” But without those clips of video, the very reasons why CMP began recording undercover videos will not be seen by the court.
“The result, unless things change during this trial, is that the jury will never see the evidence of Planned Parenthood crimes,” wrote Mihet. “They are being asked to determine whether, BEFORE recording the videos, Sandra had a reasonable belief that Planned Parenthood was committing violent crimes, without being allowed to see that the videos themselves CONFIRMED Sandra’s belief that those crimes were being committed. How could her belief that crimes were being committed be ‘unreasonable,’ when the videos she recorded demonstrated that crimes WERE in fact being committed?”
Mihet also said there are other obstacles being imposed on the defense team that he will report on next week, including that a “huge miscarriage of justice MAY be taking place.” Despite all of this, Mihet reported that Merritt did well on the stand and “shredded Planned Parenthood’s case.” She detailed for the court what she learned before making the videos that led her to believe that Planned Parenthood was committing crimes. Having that reasonable belief is what made it legal for her to film the undercover videos.
“Planned Parenthood had almost NOTHING to say in response,” said Mihet. “It was POWERFUL!”
Court resumes on Tuesday for day four of the possibility eight-week long trial.
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