Jury questions two counts in Kermit Gosnell murder trial

Kermit Gosnell
Dr. Kermit Gosnell is accused of murder in connection with his now-closed medical clinic. Credit: File photo

In its 10th day of deliberations in the Kermit Gosnell murder trial, jurors told the judge Monday they were questioning two counts.

The jury in Common Pleas Court in Philadelphia is deliberating on whether to convict the doctor in the deaths of babies and a patient during late-term abortions at a clinic that served low-income women.

Gosnell, 72, who ran the now-closed Women’s Medical Society Clinic, may face the death penalty.

The seven-woman, five-man jury, after taking the weekend off, resumed deliberations at about 8:30 a.m. and sent out a handwritten note about 90 minutes later. Judge Jeffrey Minehart sent the panel back for further deliberations.

Gosnell is charged with four counts of first-degree murder for delivering live babies during late-term abortions and then deliberately severing their spinal cords, prosecutors said.

He also faces charges that he performed 24 abortions after 24 weeks. It is legal in Pennsylvania to abort a fetus up to 24 weeks into a pregnancy.

In addition, he faces charges of conspiracy and more than 200 counts of violating the state’s informed consent law, which mandates a 24-hour waiting period for an abortion.

The jury heard five weeks of testimony and has been deliberating since April 30.

Gosnell’s defense says there is no evidence the babies were alive after they were aborted.

Testimony depicted a filthy clinic, serving mostly low-income women in a largely black community.

Gosnell is also charged with murdering Karnamaya Mongar, 41, of Virginia, who died from a drug overdose after going to him for an abortion, prosecutors said.

Gosnell has been in jail since his January 2011 arrest.

Eight other defendants have pleaded guilty to a variety of charges and are awaiting sentencing. They include Gosnell’s wife, Pearl, a cosmetologist who helped perform abortions.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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