Dr Kermit Gosnell stands convicted of 3 counts of first degree murder.
The charges stem from the deaths of babies that were born alive at Gosnell’s late-term abortion clinic and then subsequently killed by Dr Gosnell and members of his staff. According to testimony in his trial, Dr Gosnell most often murdered these babies by cutting their spinal cords through an incision in the backs of their necks.
The sentencing phase of the trial is still ahead. Prosecutors have said that they will seek the death penalty.
I’ve held off about making direct comments about Dr Gosnell because of the on-going trial. I’m going to continue that policy until after he is sentenced. However, I will make one small exception:
This verdict acknowledges something very important. By convicting Dr Gosnell of first degree murder, the jury has said that these babies were human beings. The misapprehension that any child before birth or even shortly after birth is not, in fact, a human, is what led to the things Dr Gosnell did.
This lie is what allowed Dr Gosnell to walk the gray area in the law for so long. I know from personal experience the lengths “pro choice” people will go to stop any regulation or limitation on the “right” to abortion. They are perfectly willing to endanger women’s lives with substandard and dangerous medical practices to protect abortionists.
In the case of Dr Gosnell, the militant opposition to anything that limits the rights of abortionists to kill at will has finally crossed a bridge too far. The simple acknowledgement that a baby that survives an abortion is a human being has entered a courtroom and a jury has agreed that the baby is a human being who may not be killed with impunity.
You cannot have a verdict of murder in the first degree unless 12 people agree that a human being has been deliberately killed with premeditation. “Things that will one day become human beings” do not have the dignity of having their deaths called murder.
I am going to save the rest of my thinking about Dr Gosnell and what he did for another time. I do not want to contribute in any way to an atmosphere that might be called prejudicial.
Let the system work.
Then, we’ll talk about it in detail.
From the New York Times:
PHILADELPHIA — Dr. Kermit Gosnell, a West Philadelphia doctor known for performing late-term abortions, was found guilty on Monday on three of four counts of first-degree murder.
The verdict came after a five-week trial in which the prosecution and the defense battled over whether the fetuses Dr. Gosnell was charged with killing were alive when they were removed from their mothers.
Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty when the trial moves into the sentencing phase on May 21.Dr. Gosnell, 72, wearing a dark suit, showed no emotion as the jury foreman read the verdicts on the 10th day of deliberations.
Before the foreman spoke, Dr. Gosnell smiled at his lawyer, Jack J. McMahon, and shook his hand. Read the rest here.)