The videos released in July 2015 by David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress showed Planned Parenthood staff discussing the dismemberment of unborn babies and the sale of their body parts.
Though the videos were the central matter of the Planned Parenthood suit against Daleiden, Judge William Orrick refused to allow the jury to see the videos in a part of the proceedings on October 8. Paul Jonn, attorney for Gerardo Lopez, objected.
MR. JONNA: Okay. As far as Larton and Nucatola, as we pointed out, Mr. Lopez viewed those videos before he decided to go undercover. And he transcribed those videos before he decided to go undercover. And the statements made in the videos are relevant to explain and to understand what motivated him to get involved in the project. And that’s highly relevant in this case because they’re suing him for a RICO conspiracy; they want punitive damages.
The jury should be able to hear what it was that motivated him to get involved. It wasn’t a desire to commit federal offenses. It was a desire to prevent them from being committed.
So it’s — it’s highly relevant, also, to the federal wiretap claim. And it’s unfair for him to just say what motivated him, without showing the jury what he actually saw.
So those two videos go directly to his motive and intent. And we think it is highly prejudicial for him to not be able to testify and show the jury which videos were instrumental in his thought process in getting involved in this project.
As far as the other two videos, Dr. Taylor and Tram Nguyen, showing the videos without sound is not really going to accomplish much. The whole point is for the jury to see what was being said while there were people around. Just like what we talked about last week, with the Dr. Nucatola lunch video.
THE COURT: Right. At the moment, you haven’t given me — I don’t know what it is that was said around people. And so that’s the question. The issue is whether this testimony which would otherwise be excluded under 403 or relevance is actually relevant because it was being discussed with, you know, people in the area. And that was the same thing that we went through with the videos regarding Ms. Merritt.
MR. JONNA: Another point, Your Honor, is, you know, I read all your motion-in-limine rulings. I’m very familiar with the Court’s orders. None of those rulings, in our view, ever said that we couldn’t show the CMP videos that they are suing over in this case.
I mean, they are suing, saying these are illegal recordings. And the jury is going to make a decision about whether these are illegal recordings, and they’re not going to be allowed to see these videos.
That was never addressed in your motion-in-limine rulings. That’s news to all of us.
THE COURT: Well, I have read and re-read my orders, because there does seem to be some confusion. And I think I’ve been quite clear about this. And I’m trying to continue to be clear, Mr. Jonna.
So, I appreciate your confusion. But the rulings, I think, have been consistent, and they will remain.
MR. JONNA: So what I would suggest, Your Honor, which is what we put our papers, is that if they don’t want those clips shown to the jury, then they should withdraw their claims as to those clips. How can the jury make a decision whether those were illegal recordings, without seeing them?
THE COURT: The point, Mr. Jonna, is with respect to the claims in this case, it is information that occurred prior to the filming of the videos, and whether those strategies were appropriate or inappropriate. And what you want to do is get into — and I think it’s always been the desire of the defendants to get to the truth of these issues —
MR. JONNA: No.
THE COURT: — that I’m not allowing.
MR. JONNA: Sure. And Your Honor, that’s clear from
your rulings. There’s no question about it. THE COURT: Thank you.
MR. JONNA: We don’t want to prove — I mean, we certainly want to, but we understand the Court is stopping us from proving what’s been asserted or what’s been claimed as true. We understand that.
We never thought that we couldn’t at least show the videos that are the subject of this entire case. I mean, this is
what — the case is about these videos. The jury should be able to see these videos that they’re suing over…
Access the full October 8th transcript here..