40 Days for Life and Thomas More Society Protest South Carolina Prosecutor's Double Standard in Reducing Felony Charges against Abortionist Who Aimed Pistol at Pro-Lifer
Contact: Tom Ciesielka, 312-422-1333
CHARLESTON, SC, June 29, 2012 /Christian Newswire
/ -- 40 Days for Life, an international pro-life ministry outreach, and Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based Public Interest Law Firm, have registered a strong protest upon hearing news that Scarlett Wilson, South Carolina's Solicitor for its Ninth Judicial Circuit, is further reducing the criminal charge she had filed against abortionist Dr. Gary Boyle, arrested for having pointed a loaded semi-automatic firearm at 40 Days for Life volunteers who were peacefully praying and counseling outside his abortion facility, the Charleston Women's Medical Center in 2010.
Dr. Boyle originally had been charged with a felony punishable by up to five (5) years in jail, but Solicitor Wilson announced that the charges would be reduced to a mere misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $100 or a 30-day jail sentence -- a step likely to culminate in a sentence amounting to a mere inconvenience for cash-rich abortionist Dr. Boyle, despite his having deliberately put pro-lifers in fear for their lives, threatening them with the imminent infliction of deadly force.
"We are outraged at this latest evidence of a double standard applied by too many prosecutors -- federal, state, and local -- when it comes to charging abortion proponents with serious crimes against pro-life advocates," said Shawn Carney, campaign director of 40 Days for Life. Carney continued, "How different would Judge Wilson's charge be if the roles had been reversed? Threat of violence is threat of violence – and should always be treated as a serious crime. Dr. Boyle should be fully punished for his reckless and despicable actions."
Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, said: "The U.S. Justice Department has launched federal prosecutions against pro-life advocates across the country for merely offering literature to cars entering Planned Parenthood, calling this pristine exercise of basic First Amendment rights a criminal 'obstruction' of 'access' to abortion facilities when cars suffer only slight delays in turning into driveways. These cases have been defeated, albeit at great expense. Yet such threats of deadly force against pro-lifers as occurred here in Charleston are now brushed off with a mere slap on the wrist." Brejcha said that, "Public safety is paramount, and it is high time that pro-lifers' rights are fully and equally protected."
Dr. Boyle was originally arrested for "aggravated assault with a firearm," but this was later reduced to "presenting a firearm" and now further reduced to "disorderly conduct," a charge typically aimed at public drunkenness. While one police report claims that three pro-lifers surrounded Dr. Boyle's car, evidence proves that the abortionist was never even approached by the pro-life advocates.
"It was shocking to see that he [Boyle] was pointing a gun at us," said John Karafa, a 40 Days for Life participant and one of three victims at whom the gun was aimed. "Our lives should not be threatened because we are exercising our right to peacefully pray….A mere slap on the wrist is insufficient and will not keep him from threatening us with his gun in the future."
Brejcha also pointed out that Boyle was only charged with a misdemeanor, therefore his gun license will not be revoked and he may continue to carry a firearm. The court hearing occurred today, Friday, June 29, 2012 at 9:00 am before Hon. James B. Gosnell at the Charleston County Judicial Center in Courtroom 4D. Karafa read a "victim statement," before sentencing.
About the Thomas More Society
Founded in 1997, the Chicago-based Thomas More Society is a national public interest law firm that seeks to restore respect in law for life, marriage, and religious liberty. The Society is a nonprofit organization wholly supported by private donations. For more information or to support the work of Thomas More Society, please visit www.thomasmoresociety.org.