FLASHBACK - Guilty: Abortionist Gosnell Convicted of First-Degree Murder of 3 Babies

By Elizabeth Harrington | May 13, 2013 | 4:38pm EDT


Dr. Kermit Gosnell, found guilty of murdering 3 babies born alive during abortions by a Philadelphia jury, May 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Philadelphia Police Department via Philadelphia District Attorney's Office)

(CNSNews.com) – Late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell was found guilty of first-degree murder for killing three babies born alive after abortions by severing their spinal cords with scissors,  and he now faces the death penalty.

After 10 days of deliberation in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, a jury today found Gosnell guilty of three of the four murder charges for babies in the case, including “Baby C,” which was “moving and breathing for 20 minutes” before its neck was snipped, and “Baby D,” which was born alive in a toilet, “swimming,” trying to get out.

The jury, which according to local reports was made up of nine “pro-choice” individuals, did not convict Gosnell of third-degree murder for the overdose death of Karnamaya Mongar, who died at Gosnell’s clinic the Women’s Medical Society in West Philadelphia when seeking a late-term abortion.  Gosnell instead was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in that instance.

For the 24 counts of performing abortions after 24 weeks, the jury found Gosnell guilty on 21.  Gosnell was also convicted of numerous conspiracy charges and infanticide.

The guilty verdict on Monday ended the lengthy trial that began on March 18, which included five weeks of testimony from 54 witnesses.  Gosnell did not take the stand during the trial, with defense lawyer Jack McMahon resting his case without calling any witnesses.

“Obviously the jury has spoken,” McMahon said outside the court following the verdict.  “A jury has spoken and we respect that verdict.”

McMahon said Gosnell’s state of mind was “disappointed and he’s upset.”

“[Gosnell] showed me a little bit of something before the verdict even came in, he thanked me very much for my effort, which to me says a lot about it before any verdict occurs, and I respected that out of him,” McMahon said.

Baby girl aborted at office of Dr. Kermit Gosnell in West Philadelphia, Pa. (Photo: Grand Jury Report, First Judicial District of Pennsylvania.)

“His state of mind is—as any intelligent human being would be at this point in time—is he’s disappointed and he’s upset,” he said of Gosnell.  “I mean, we aired out our position on this over a long trial, we had a fair trial, we got to put out our position, and the jury spoke, and to me, that’s what our system is all about.”

When asked if he regrets not calling Gosnell to testify, or any witnesses in defense, McMahon said, “No.”

“We started this case with eight murders, there were seven murders and Ms. Mongar was a not guilty of murder, and then there was four other not guilty of murders, but there was three that were, so we have to deal with that.”

Originally, Gosnell was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder of babies, but Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Jeffrey P. Minehart threw out three of the counts during judgment of acquittal, apparently concluding the prosecution failed to put forth enough evidence that the babies in those cases were born alive.

The jury will now move on to sentencing, and will have to be unanimous in order to sentence Gosnell to death. They will reconvene on May 21.

Fetal remains in a freezer in the Women's Medical Society abortion clinic run by Dr. Kermit Gosnell. (Grand Jury Report.)

Prosecutor Joanne Pescatore was reportedly in tears when the verdict was read, ending a years’ long process since Gosnell’s clinic was raided in February 2010.

The jury did not find Gosnell guilty of murder in the case of “Baby E,” which witnesses testified they heard crying before Gosnell killed it with scissors, according to the grand jury report.

Lila Rose, president of the pro-life group Live Action, said “justice has been served.”

“Dr. Kermit Gosnell's gruesome and inhuman crimes in Philadelphia cried out for justice, and now – for three of his four born and struggling victims, at least – justice has been served,” Rose said.  “Even as we celebrate this verdict, we honor and mourn as well those innocents who did not receive 'their day in court' – and we must remember that Gosnell is not an outlier within the abortion industry.”

“We call upon Congress to investigate all those participating in or willing to participate in this kind of brutality toward vulnerable women and children, and end it,” she said.

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