The jury has returned with a verdict of guilty for The Center for Medical Progress and the undercover investigators in the civil trial of Planned Parenthood v. CMP, according to the Thomas More Society. David Daleiden and the CMP team will have to pay damages to Planned Parenthood for exposing the abortion corporation‘s illegal sales of body parts from aborted children.
— CMP (@CtrMedProgress) November 15, 2019
The six-week-long trial ended on Wednesday with closing arguments, and it took the jury under two days to come back with the guilty verdict. They awarded Planned Parenthood $870,000 in punitive damages plus hundreds of thousands more in compensatory damages, according to CMP.
CMP released undercover videos in 2015 that showed Planned Parenthood employees haggling over the price of body parts taken from the children they were aborting. The undercover videos also caught top Planned Parenthood abortionists discussing how they illegally alter abortion procedures in order to prevent the “crushing” of intact organs they want to sell.
BREAKING: Jury awards Planned Parenthood $870K in punitive damages plus hundreds of thousands more in compensatory damages. Lady Justice was not blind in this trial, Judge Orrik’s rulings against CMP et al created bias against us with jury, black eye for #1A, dangerous precedent.
— CMP (@CtrMedProgress) November 15, 2019
Planned Parenthood Federation of American (PPFA), along with several affiliates, accused CMP founder Daleiden, investigators Sandra Merritt and Adrian Lopez, and founding board members Albin Rhomberg and Troy Newman of crimes including fraud, illegal taping of conversations, trespassing, and violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) statute. The abortion corporation wants CMP to pay $630,000 in damages and millions in punitive damages claiming they had to take increased security measures due to threats received by Planned Parenthood employees seen in the videos. However, Planned Parenthood never shared with the court what their security costs were prior to the 2015 release of the videos in order for the jury to compare them to security costs after the release.
U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick III has ties to Planned Parenthood, including helping to open a Planned Parenthood facility. Defense attorneys for CMP had asked him to recuse himself from the trial but he refused. Orrick told the jury that the First Amendment did not protect CMP, which is a controversial decision.
Verdict is in: Jury finds David Daleiden and CMP liable in their undercover journalism of Planned Parenthood for millions of dollars in damages for the work they did to expose organ harvesting on live babies: pic.twitter.com/g5sZ5we09e
— Thomas More Society (@ThomasMoreSoc) November 15, 2019
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t get Judge Orrick to back off from his insistence that the jury be instructed that the First Amendment… does not state any kind of defense to the charges in this case,” Thomas Brejcha, founder of the Thomas More Society said according to LifeSiteNews. “Which, frankly, we think is a terrible misreading of our fundamental constitutional laws about free speech.”
Terrisa Bukovinac, executive director of Pro-Life San Francisco, told Live Action News that Orrick had determined that the CMP defendants trespassed when they attended Planned Parenthood events and visited Planned Parenthood facilities undercover. He instructed the jury that CMP could be held accountable for nominal damages such as one dollar for each act of trespassing. He also told the jury that PPFA could be entitled to damages if their lawyers were able to prove that PPFA was actually harmed by CMP. Both the plaintiffs and the defense agreed, however, that everything the Planned Parenthood employees said in the videos was their own words. And since PPFA is not suing for CMP for defamation, the truth was exposed by the videos.
Judge Christoper Hite of the San Francisco Superior Court is expected to rule in the coming weeks whether there is enough evidence to proceed with the criminal trial against CMP. Daleiden and Merritt are facing 14 felony counts of illegal recording in that case.
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