UPDATE: Purvi Patel resentenced, released from prison Thursday
Purvi Patel has been resentenced, and she was released from prison as expected on Thursday morning.
In July 2013, the Granger woman took abortion-inducing pills and put her newborn in a dumpster behind her family's restaurant.
In July 2016, the Indiana Court of Appeals threw out Patel's feticide conviction and reduced her neglect of a dependent conviction from a class A felony to a class D felony.
On Wednesday, Patel was resentenced to 18 months for the neglect of a dependent charge. Patel had already exceeded that reduced time.
Patel was 35 when she delivered the infant at her Granger home in 2013.
Women's advocacy groups say the case marked the first time a state feticide law was used against a woman because of an alleged self-induced abortion.
Patel's attorneys say the feticide laws prosecutors used don't apply to Patel's alleged actions.
State lawyers argued that Patel's infant was just beyond the threshold of viability and took at least one breath before dying.
Doctors determined the baby was about 25 weeks old.
On July 22, 2016, the Court of Appeals of Indiana sustained the conviction for Neglect of a Dependent charge. In entering that opinion, Judge Vaidik wrote that “the State presented sufficient evidence for a jury to find that Patel was subjectively aware that the baby was born alive and that she knowingly endangered the baby by failing to provide medical care.” However, the Appellate Court found that the State could not prove that the baby would have died but for her neglect, and therefore, reduced the Neglect of a Dependent conviction from a Class A Felony to a Class D Felony and remanded to the trial court with instructions to resentence Ms. Patel for the Class D Felony. (Purvi Patel v. State of Indiana, 2016 WL 3959344 (Ind. Ct. App. July 22, 2016)).
As a decision of first impression, the Court also vacated Ms. Patel’s Feticide conviction, making it clear that a mother is not subject to conviction under the Feticide law in the State of Indiana. Our Office respects the Court of Appeals role in making these determinations. It is our Office’s duty to uphold and follow the law, and we recognize that this is now the state of the law in Indiana.
Under case law, when the Court of Appeals returns a case to the trial court for resentencing, the trial court is not required to hold a hearing for that resentencing. Because both parties presented arguments at the original sentencing and neither party had any further issues, the Superior Court proceeded with the resentencing without the necessity of a hearing.
Today, the St. Joseph County Superior Court resentenced Purvi Patel to 18 months for the charge of Neglect of a Dependent, a Class D Felony. Ms. Patel has served 525 days, and, with Class 1 credit, she has served a total of 1050 days which is in excess of this 18 month sentence. This means that Ms. Patel has served the term of imprisonment to which she was resentenced. The resentencing order was faxed to the Indiana Department of Corrections.