NEWS PROVIDED BY
Life Legal Defense Foundation
Nov. 15, 2019
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 15, 2019 /Christian Newswire/ -- The jury rendered a verdict today in Planned Parenthood v. Center for Medical Progress, awarding plaintiffs Planned Parenthood Federation of America and numerous affiliates $2.2 million in actual and punitive damages.
The jury even found the defendants liable for Planned Parenthood's outrageous racketeering (RICO) claims. The federal RICO statute was enacted to eradicate organized crime and requires a pattern of certain types of criminal acts. The Gambino and Lucchese crime families were prosecuted under RICO, as was Michael Milken who was convicted of securities fraud. In this case, Planned Parenthood attorneys allege that David Daleiden, Susan Merritt, Albin Rhomberg, Troy Newman, and the other pro-life defendants should be held liable under RICO for making two obviously fake ID's on a home printer over six years ago. Rhomberg and Newman had no knowledge of the ID's, yet the jury found them liable as co-conspirators. This would be laughable, except that the RICO law allows plaintiffs to recover exorbitant treble damages (triple the claimed damages) and attorney fees.
The jury also found for the plaintiffs on the matter of federal recording claims. As Life Legal's Katie Short pointed out in her closing argument, in order for the defendants to be liable for creating and publishing the videos under federal law, Planned Parenthood would have to product evidence "that the recording was done for the purpose of committing a criminal act in the future….[that] everything done for the whole journalism project, including publishing the video, was somehow criminal, a crime." To make undercover investigative journalism that exposes behavior that shocks the conscience a crime is anathema to our constitutional rights and liberties. Yet, because the judge disallowed the First Amendment as a defense to Planned Parenthood's claims, the jury held that the defendants were liable for recording or conspiring to record all of the video footage obtained by the Center for Medical Progress.
"We are appalled by today's verdict. It is as though the jury completely disregarded every piece of evidence we produced. Not only does Planned Parenthood engage in illegal and morally repugnant practices, but its agents never bothered to tell the defendants that the conversations about things like 'crushing above and crushing below' to get more desirable and salable body parts were confidential," said Life Legal executive director Alexandra Snyder. "We will appeal this unjust result and fight to protect the First Amendment rights of investigative journalists show us what happens behind the veil of powerful corporations like Planned Parenthood, who has relied on a shroud of secrecy to build its multi-billion-dollar abortion empire."
Watch Life Legal's VP of Legal Affairs Katie Short respond to the verdict here: https://youtu.be/rM6NS-0Miq0
About Life Legal Defense Foundation
Life Legal Defense Foundation was established in 1989, and is a nonprofit organization composed of attorneys and other concerned citizens committed to giving helpless and innocent human beings of any age, and their advocates, a trained and committed voice in the courtrooms of our nation. For more information about the Life Legal Defense Foundation, visit www.lldf.org.
SOURCE Life Legal Defense Foundation
CONTACT: Alexandra Snyder, firstname.lastname@example.org