Trials & Litigation

Jury finds abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell guilty of first-degree murder in deaths of 3 infants


Following five weeks of testimony and 10 days of deliberation, the jury in a capital murder case against a Philadelphia late-term abortion doctor has found Kermit Gosnell guilty of three counts of first-degree murder concerning infants born alive whose spinal cords were then severed.

He was acquitted Monday in the death of a fourth baby, concerning his work as the operator of what the government called a “house of horrors” clinic at which viable infants were slain and women and teens, most of them low-income, received substandard care. A third-degree murder charge involving the 2009 death of Karnamaya Mongar, 41, who received an overdose of sedatives and painkillers, resulted in an involuntary manslaughter conviction, according to CNN, USA Today and the Washington Post.

Gosnell, 72, was calm after the verdict in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas case, the Post reports, but jurors and lawyers were more emotional and a prosecutor broke into sobs.

Three other murder counts, involving the deaths of other babies, were dismissed after the defense successfully argued that there was insufficient evidence they were born alive at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society clinic in West Philadelphia, reports the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.).

Gosnell’s lawyer, John McMahon, argued that it wasn’t proven that any of the babies were born alive and said those involved in Mongar’s death followed proper sedation procedures.

The case resulted in action by Pennsylvania lawmakers to impose new regulations requiring more frequent inspections of abortion clinics by state health officers. Gosnell’s clinic reportedly had not been inspected in more than a decade when authorities raided it in 2010 during an investigation of his prescription drug practices.

ABC News and NBC 10 Philadelphia also have stories.

Gosnell faced more than 250 charges, most related to abortions he allegedly performed beyond the state’s 24-week legal limit.

He will be sentenced at a later date after a penalty phase hearing.

See also

ABAJournal.com: “Prosecution to Seek Death Penalty for Abortion Doc Accused of Murdering Woman and 7 Viable Babies”

ABAJournal.com: “‘Complete Regulatory Collapse’ Helped Abortion Doc Charged in 8 Murders Keep Operating”

ABAJournal.com: “Former high-school intern tells of ‘screeching’ aborted baby in abortion doc’s murder trial”

ABAJournal.com: “Judge tosses some charges against abortion doc; defense calls no witnesses”

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