Gosnell Guilty: Jury Convicts Abortion Provider Kermit Gosnell of Murder
Guest Post by Mara Zebest
The jury convicts abortion provider Kermit Gosnell of murder. Gosnell is eligible for the death penalty.
WaPo reports the following:
PHILADELPHIA — Abortion provider Kermit Gosnell was convicted Monday of three counts of first-degree murder for severing the spinal cords of infants born during abortions at his West Philadelphia clinic.
Gosnell also was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the 2009 death of 41-year-old Virginia woman Karnamaya Mongar, who died from an overdose of drugs while undergoing an abortion at the clinic. Prosecutors described the clinic as a “house of horrors” because of the unsanitary conditions and unsafe practices that defined it.
The trial now moves into a sentencing phase to decide whether Gosnell should receive the death penalty or face life in prison on the capital murder counts.
Gosnell reacted calmly to the verdicts, but jurors and lawyers displayed more emotion. One prosecutor was sobbing.
The verdicts were announced just before 3 p.m., a few hours after the jurors informed the judge in the case that they were hung on two charges.
It remained unclear which of the more than 260 charges against Gosnell had caused the stalemate. When jurors were brought into the courtroom about 11:15 a.m., Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart gave them what is commonly called a Spencer charge, telling them to reexamine the evidence and continue trying to reach a verdict.
“The fact that you are stuck on two counts — it shows you are considering the evidence seriously. It’s an indication of your sincerity and your objectivity,” Minehart said. “It’s a difficult case. We appreciate that.”
Minehart said the gridlock also could represent “confusion” about the details of the charges in the case and the evidence presented. He said he was sending the jurors back to further consider that evidence in hopes of reaching a consensus. But, he added, “no juror should surrender an honest conviction” merely to reach a verdict.
Monday’s verdicts came during the jurors’ 10th day of deliberations, which have stretched into a third week.
Gosnell, 72, faced four first-degree murder charges in connection with babies identified in court as A, C, D and E. He was acquitted in the death of Baby E.
He originally faced seven first-degree murder charges, but Minehart dismissed three of those charges.
Gosnell was found guilty of many lesser charges. […]
Read more here.