Purvi Patel case: State files brief responding to appeal of feticide, neglect of a dependent convictions

The state of Indiana recently filed its response to an appeal filed by Purvi Patel, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison after she was convicted of feticide and neglect of a dependent causing death earlier this year.

 In the brief, Attorney General Greg Zoeller argued that prosecutors weren’t required to prove that the infant could have survived if Patel sought immediate medical care after delivering the infant, according to the South Bend Tribune.

Instead, he wrote that prosecutors only had to prove that Patel put the infant in danger, which Zoeller wrote that the jury “reasonably concluded” during the February trial.

During the trial, prosecutors argued Patel illegally purchased abortion drugs online from an international pharmacy and took them to end her pregnancy, then left the infant’s body in a dumpster behind a Mishawaka restaurant her family owned.

When Patel went to a hospital, she initially told doctors that she miscarried. During the trial, she testified that the infant was lifeless when it was born and that her attempt to revive it didn’t work. She said she was in shock after delivering the infant, which is why she didn’t call 911 and why she wrapped the infant’s body in plastic and left it in the dumpster.

Patel’s attorneys are Lawrence Marshall and Joel Schumm, law professors from Stanford Law School and Indiana University’s McKinney School of Law respectively. In the appeal brief filed in October, Marshall and Schumm argued that prosecutors used faulty evidence during Patel’s trial. They also contend that prosecutors misused Indiana’s feticide law, which they say was never meant to prosecute women who have illegal abortions.

A date for the appeal hearing has not yet been set.

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