Philadelphia, Pa., May 13, 2013 / 11:13 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The jury considering the case of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell has said it is deadlocked on two of the more than 250 charges against the doctor accused of killing a patient and several babies born alive.
The two undecided charges were not announced. Deliberations are now in their 10th day.
Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart on Monday instructed the jury to try to arrive at unanimous decisions on all counts. He asked jurors to return to the jury room and discuss the charges further, NBC 10 Philadelphia reports.
Gosnell, 72, initially faced seven counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of infants who were allegedly killed after surviving abortions at his Philadelphia clinic, the Women’s Medical Society.
Judge Minehart threw out three of the infant murder charges after Gosnell’s attorney argued that there was no proof the babies had been born alive.
In addition to the four remaining first-degree murder charges, Gosnell also faces a third-degree murder charge concerning a Virginia woman who died in 2009 after his untrained clinic employees allegedly administered an overdose of a drug.
Other charges include racketeering, conspiracy, failure to counsel women and illegal third-trimester abortions.
Gosnell’s trial became a rallying cry for pro-life advocates, who lamented a lack of major media coverage of the trial. Their efforts on social media helped draw attention to the case.
The gruesome testimony at the trial included reports that Gosnell and his staff snipped the necks of over 100 babies who survived abortions. One doctor at the clinic testified that the procedure was “literally a beheading.”
Gosnell’s clinic reportedly had minimal state oversight through 1993 and no oversight since then. The practices at his clinic were not discovered until a Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Agency raid was conducted in February 2010 to seek evidence of illegal distribution of prescription painkillers.
Investigators found blood-stained rooms and filthy equipment. The clinic stored aborted fetuses in a basement freezer in plastic food containers and bags next to staff lunches. Gosnell kept severed feet of unborn babies preserved in specimen jars, allegedly for future identification or DNA samples.
Staff members allegedly sent women to give birth into toilets, a doctor allegedly spread sexually transmitted infections to women through poor sanitary standards and a 15-year-old staffer reportedly administered anesthesia to patients. In addition, there have been accusations that the clinic gave better treatment to white patients than minorities.
Gosnell, who had also operated a clinic in Delaware, could face the death penalty if convicted.