A Philadelphia jury has found late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell guilty of murdering three of four babies in his capital murder trial.
He is also guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the 2009 abortion death of Karnamaya Mongar, a 41-year-old legal immigrant who died when his untrained staff administered an overdose of sedatives.
The jury found Gosnell guilty of murdering Babies A, C, and D. Gosnell quipped Baby A, who was photographed by one of his employees, Andrienne Moton, was big enough to “walk me to the bus stop.”
Jurors found Gosnell had committed first-degree murder when he allowed the babies to be born alive, then “snipped” their spinal cords with scissors — a practice his employees said they saw him perform “hundreds” of times.
The verdict, which was announced this afternoon in the courtroom of Judge Jeffrey Minehart, means Gosnell will face the death penalty at sentencing.
The “not guilty” count related to Baby E, who uttered a noise before being killed. Jurors could not determine conclusively that such a sound represented a sign of life.
“Even if not on every count, I am thrilled today by the guilty verdict in the Gosnell murder trial,” said Bryan Kemper of Stand True Ministries. “I have waited many years for justice to be served on behalf of babies being killed by abortionists.”
Jurors convicted Gosnell of one count of infanticide and two counts of conspiracy in the murders of the babies, which defense attorney Jack McMahon sometimes called “infants,” as well. They also convicted Gosnell of breaking Pennsylvania law by aborting babies past the state’s limit of 24-weeks’ gestation.
The 72-year-old abortionist faced hundreds of charges, ranging from first-degree murder to racketeering to tampering with evidence.
Prosecutors Ed Cameron and Joanne Pescatore appeared relaxed before the verdict came in, according to reporter J.D. Mullane of the Buck County (PA) Courier Times, while McMahon looked nervous.
Gosnell showed no emotion as the verdict was handed down, according to Mullane.
The decision comes after six weeks of testimony and nearly two weeks of deliberation. On April 23, Judge Minehartdismissed nine charges against Gosnell: three murder charges, one count of infanticide, and five cases of abusing a corpse. He gave no indication why he did so.
Gosnell’s attorney had argued it was “ludicrous” to say a baby was alive merely because it was moving. His case was bolstered when Chief Medical Examiner Sam Gulino said he could not determine from the frozen remains whether the babies had been delivered alive.
McMahon told jurors that Gosnell had injected the babies with Digoxin, stopping their heart, and “snipped” the babies only to “ensure fetal demise.” However, authorities found not a trace of Digoxin on the premises when they raided the Women’s Medical Society offices in West Philadelphia.
Horrifying testimony from the facility’s workers confirmed the babies lived sometimes as long as 20 minutes before being subjected to the painful procedure.
Former Gosnell assistant Tina Baldwin said one baby’s agonized thrashing caused Gosnell to joke,“That’s what you call a chicken with its head cut off.”
Sherry West testified she saw an 18-to-24-inch baby who had been “aborted,” lying in a clear glass pan, “screeching [and]making this noise” that “sounded like a little alien.”
Baby D was born alive in a toilet and struggled to swim out, Kareema Cross said.
McMahon rested his defense without calling a single witness, including Gosnell himself, on April 24.
The jury reported being deadlocked on two counts this morning. It was not initially reported what those charges were.
The verdict does not satisfy all critics. Some time before the decision was announced, Pastor Luke Robinson, who was keynote speaker at the 2012 March for Life, told The Washington Times, “The whole health department of Pennsylvania should be on trial for allowing these atrocities.”
Law enforcement officials raided Gosnell’s abortion business in 2010, believing he merely ran a “pill mill,” dispensing prescriptions for narcotics to make a quick buck. What they found shocked and nauseated them.
Inside his “house or horrors,” which featured an image of two parents holding the hand of a new baby, they found unsanitized equipment that transmitted STDs between patients, urine- and blood-soaked recliners for post-abortion “recovery,” and dismembered fetal body parts.
Gosnell kept the remains of 47 aborted babies in cat food containers and milk jugs. He also cut off babies’ feet. His attorney claimed Gosnell did so for DNA purposes, but Assistant District Attorney Ed Cameron believed the abortionist kept the body parts as a kind of “trophy.”
The violations filled a 250-page Grand Jury Report.
During his closing argument, Cameron dramatically asked Gosnell, “Are you human?”
The atrocities unfolded with the tacit permission of numerous levels of authority in the government, as well as within the health care and abortion industries.
Pennsylvania health advisers decided to stop inspecting abortion facilities in the mid-1990s under pro-abortion Republican Governor Tom Ridge on the grounds that inspections imposed an undue burden on the abortion industry.
A representative of the National Abortion Federation inspected the business and declined Gosnell’s membership — but did not report him to higher authorities. Neither did hospitals who dealt with the many victims of Gosnell’s botched abortions over the years.
The mainstream media also showed little interest in the story — which combined elements of murder, macabre practices, and economic and racial health disparities — until a tweetfest generated more than half-a-million comments using the #Gosnell hashtag.
Pro-life activists rejoiced at the verdict but say Gosnell’s actions are all-too widespread.
“We must remember that Gosnell is not an outlier within the abortion industry,” said Lila Rose of Live Action. “We cannot allow these ‘guilty’ verdicts, welcome as they are, to make us complacent when it comes to the continuing abuses happening even now in abortion facilities throughout our nation.”
“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.