Friday, July 22, 2016

Indiana Court of Appeals Vacates Purvi Patel's Feticide Conviction

(July 22, 2016):  Today, the Indiana Court of Appeals vacated Purvi Patel's feticide conviction and Class A felony conviction for neglect of a dependent.  Patel was convicted of feticide and neglect of a dependent for allegedly self-administering drugs to induce an abortion which resulted in a premature delivery.  Although Patel maintained that the there was not a live birth, the jury found that she delivered a living baby and failed to seek medical help on a timely basis. 

The Court of Appeals found that a pregnant woman cannot be convicted of feticide for the termination of her own pregnancy and that an unlawful abortion does not constitute feticide.  The court also vacated Patel's conviction for Class A neglect of a dependent because the state failed to prove that the premature baby would have survived if Patel had sought medical help on a timely basis.  However, it did find that there was sufficient evidence for the jury to conclude that there was a live birth and that Patel's failure to seek medical help placed the baby in danger which constitutes a Class D felony.  The case has been remanded to the trial court to resentence Patel for the less severe Class D felony which has a sentence range of 6 months to 3 years.

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