Overland Park, Kansas – Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe continues to bungle a massive criminal case against Planned Parenthood — already wracked with scandal — by persuading a judge to dismiss 26 criminal counts related to illegal late-term abortions based on Planned Parenthood’s theory that the statute of limitations had run out before the charges were filed in 2007.
“Based on Howe’s actions in this case, his political alliances with those who tried to subvert the case in previous administrations, and his over-willingness to adopt Planned Parenthood’s legal strategies, we strongly believe that Howe is working in cahoots with Planned Parenthood and is intentionally throwing the case one piece at a time. Because of his apparent corruption, we call on Howe to resign from office. We also demand that a special independent prosecutor be appointed to continue the prosecution of Planned Parenthood,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation.
Planned Parenthood was originally charged by former District Attorney Phill Kline with 107 criminal counts, including 23 felonies, related to illegal late-term abortions and manufacturing evidence to cover its crimes.
Today, 32 charges remain related to 16 abortions. Planned Parenthood is accused of committing illegal late-term abortions and failing to determine viability for each of the 16 abortions that took place in late 2003.
The statute of limitations was changed from two years to five in 2005 by the State Legislature after became clear that Planned Parenthood, aided by the pro-abortion administration of former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, was engaged in a lengthy plan to terminally delay the case. When Kline filed the charges in 2007, the law was clear that the statute of limitations was five years.
In agreement with Planned Parenthood, Howe rejected the application of the 2005 law, and reverted to the old statute of limitations when asking for the dismissal of over two dozen charges late Thursday.
“Howe has systematically dismantled this case piece by piece, adopting Planned Parenthood’s spurious legal theories at every turn. At first we gave Howe the benefit of the doubt and thought his mismanagement of the case was simple incompetence, however, now it appears that raw corruption is the only answer to his behavior. He has turned a serious case of illegal late-term abortions into a scandal-ridden fiasco,” said Newman.
In November of last year, Howe revealed that evidence crucial to the prosecution had been destroyed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and that original copies of that evidence had been shredded by the Attorney General’s office under Steve Six, a Sebelius appointee. This revelation resulted in the dismissal of 49 of the most serious counts against Planned Parenthood.
On July 11, 2012, Howe told the court that his expert witness, who is vital to the success of his prosecution on the remaining 36 counts, was too ill to serve as a witness and that he was working to replace him, setting the stage for the possible dismissal of the remaining charges.
“The responsibility for the failure of this case falls directly on Howe’s shoulders even though he has shifted the blame at every turn. Someone else shredded his evidence and allowed the statute of limitations to run. His expert witness is too sick to testify. All this was someone else’s fault, according to Howe. We don’t buy that,” said Newman. “That’s why Howe needs to be removed from the case in order to prevent the subversion of justice.”