Jury hung on two counts in Philadelphia abortion trial
By Dave Warner
Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, who ran the now-closed Women’s Medical Society Clinic, could face the death penalty if convicted by the jury in Common Pleas Court in Philadelphia.
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.
The note said it was hung on two counts, according to one of the attorneys in the case.
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 for abortion which mandates a 24-hour waiting period.
The jury heard five weeks of testimony and has been deliberating since April 30.
Gosnell’s defense contends 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.
(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Sofina Mirza-Reid)