The Latest: Next defense steps unclear after feticide ruling

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Posted: Jul 22, 2016 4:11 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on an Indiana woman's appeal of a feticide conviction in the death of her premature infant (all times local):

3:50 p.m.

A defense attorney is declining to comment on whether an Indiana woman might soon be released from prison after an appeals court overturned her feticide conviction.

Stanford University law professor Lawrence Marshall says he is reviewing the court's decision and talking with Purvi Patel before deciding the next legal steps.

A jury convicted Patel of killing her premature infant by taking abortion-inducing drugs before delivering the infant at her home in Granger in 2013.

The state appeals court said Friday that Patel should only be sentenced on a lower-level felony neglect of a dependent conviction. That carries a maximum 3-year prison term, rather than the 20-year sentence she received last year.

The Indiana attorney general's office says it will confer with local prosecutors before deciding whether to appeal the decision.

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3 p.m.

The Indiana attorney general's office says it is reviewing whether appeal a court ruling that overturned the feticide conviction of a woman who delivered a premature infant after ingesting abortion-inducing drugs.

The state appeals court said Friday that Purvi Patel should only be sentenced on a lower-level felony neglect of a dependent conviction. That carries a maximum 3-year prison term, rather than the 20-year sentence she received last year.

The attorney general's office says it will confer with local prosecutors before deciding whether to appeal the decision.

Patel was 32 when she delivered the infant at her home in Granger 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.

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2:20 p.m.

An advocacy group says it is glad the Indiana appeals court has overturned the feticide conviction of a woman who delivered a premature infant after ingesting abortion-inducing drugs.

Jill Adams of the abortion-rights group Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice says prosecutors misused the law against Purvi Patel, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The appeals court ruled Friday that Patel should be resentenced on a lower-level neglect of a dependent charge that carries a maximum 3-year prison term.

Adams says Patel took the same drugs that could've been prescribed by a doctor and that she shouldn't have faced a prison sentence.

Women's advocacy groups say Patel's case marked the first time a state feticide law was used against a woman because of an alleged self-induced abortion.

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11:45 a.m.

The Indiana Court of Appeals has overturned the feticide conviction of a woman found guilty of killing the premature infant she delivered after ingesting abortion-inducing drugs.

The ruling issued Friday comes in the case of Purvi Patel, who was convicted of neglect and feticide last year. However, the court upheld a lower-level felony neglect of a dependent conviction.

Patel was 32 when she delivered the infant at her home in Granger 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.

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This story has been corrected to show that Patel was 32 years old, not 35, when she delivered the infant.