Tiller’s Attempt to Stifle Grand Jury’s Request for Medical Records Denied by Judge!
Mary Kay Culp, Executive Director of Kansans for Life said:”Although we are disappointed that Nola Foulston’s assistant is still in charge of this grand jury, we are elated that the judge stopped Tiller’s attempt to deny the grand jury evidence they requested. “And it is our most fervent hope that the records requested go beyond the 2003 records due (because of the five year statute of limitations) to time out this year!”
The following story came exclusively from the KAKE Television Station in Wichita, KS. See the video of the story below, and the written story below that.
A judge ruled against attorneys for local abortion provider Dr. George Tiller Thursday. They wanted to halt a grand jury’s request for sensitive clinic documents.
Tiller is under investigation for possibly performing illegal late term abortions. The grand jury’s findings would determine whether formal charges are filed. A grand jury has looked into alleged wrong-doings by the doctor in the past, and cleared him of any crimes.
Grand jury proceedings are typically kept secret, but in an open courtroom Thursday, attorneys on both sides argued just how much authority a grand jury should have when it subpoenas evidence. In this case, members of the jury have requested documents containing what Tiller says is private employee information that, if leaked, would jeopardize their safety and well-being.
“We are dealing with requests from citizens who are unregulated by any code of conduct,” said defense attorney Laura Shaney felt on Thursday afternoon. “It is one thing to ask questions, but is far different and far more invasive… to turn over files to a group of unregulated and untrained citizens.”
Dr. Tiller’s attorneys contend the grand jury should not have access to information typically limited even to prosecutors and law enforcement officials. Tiller’s defense also argues any evidence contained in such documents would be used against him in a case filed last summer by Attorney General Paul Morrison. In that case, Tiller faces 19 misdemeanor charges for not consulting with a second, unaffiliated physicians before performing abortions.
But prosecutors say the two cases have no bearing on each other.
“This is designed to allow … a grand jury to better understand the information they are asking for,” said deputy District Attorney Anne Swegle.
Swegle says a grand jury’s right to subpoena evidence should go as far as necessary to determine if a crime has been committed.
The judge in the case agreed, ruling Dr. Tiller must hand over the requested documentation.
No deadline was set at the hearing, though the grand jury has 90 days to request and review evidence before making a decision.