Purvi Patel, the Indiana woman sentenced to 20 years in prison last year for attempting to kill her preborn baby in a self-induced abortion then leaving him to die in a dumpster upon his birth, may be free as soon as September, following the state of Indiana’s decision not to ask the state Supreme Court to weigh in on July reversal of her conviction.
As Live Action News has covered, Patel purchased illicit abortion pills off the internet in an attempt to hide the fact that she had an affair with a married coworker, as confirmed by emails and text messages obtained by investigators. When she delivered her son, she then put him in a garbage bag and abandoned him in a dumpster. The state’s pathologist determined that the child had been born alive and suffocated to death.
However, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed her conviction, concluding that the feticide law under which she was prosecuted had previously only been applied to abortionists, and deeming it insufficiently clear whether her neglect after birth was the cause of her son’s death.
Monday was the deadline for Indiana’s highest court to agree to take up the case, and it passed without a request to do so. Prosecutors did not respond to the South Bend Tribune’s requests for comment.
The appeals court panel that threw out Patel’s conviction ordered that she instead be sentenced on one count of Class D felony child neglect, which carries a maximum penalty of three years. The Tribune explains: “Based on the day-for-day credit for prison time that would have been applied at Patel’s March 31, 2015 sentencing, along with several days of credit for jail time served, her latest possible release date could come before the end of September.”