Daily Dispatches
Kermit Gosnell
Associated Press/Photo by Yong Kim/Philadelphia Daily News
Kermit Gosnell

Gosnell gets another life term at final sentencing hearing

Gosnell Trial

Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, sentenced to two consecutive life terms on Tuesday for killing babies born alive, received another life sentence today.

Gosnell, 72, avoided the death penalty by agreeing to give up his right to appeal if he could spend the rest of his life in prison for his first-degree murder convictions. But jurors on Monday also convicted the abortionist of hundreds of other counts, for which he was sentenced today. 

In addition to the extra life sentence, Gosnell also was sentenced to between two-and-a-half and five years for the death of Karnamaya Mongar, a patient who died of an anesthesia overdose. Although prosecutors charged Gosnell with third-degree murder in Mongar’s death, the jury found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

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Before he was led away to start his prison sentence, the judge asked Gosnell if he wanted to say anything. He replied, “Not at this time.”

Three jurors who spoke with the media after the sentencing hearing said Gosnell’s practice of slicing through babies’ spinal cords “to ensure fetal demise” convinced them of his guilt. 

“He's the worst example of an abortion doctor in the world, obviously,” said jury foreman David Misko. 

Another juror said the prosecution did a good job making its case and that Gosnell deserved life in prison.

Seth Williams, Philadelphia’s district attorney, called the case a “landmark” and the worst homicide case of his career. As he did several times during the trial, Williams said Gosnell was a monster and he hoped his conviction would deter other abortionists from murdering babies born alive.

But defense attorney Jack McMahon maintained his client’s innocence during a post-hearing news conference, saying Gosnell did not believe he had done anything wrong. McMahon also said his client may reach a plea deal with federal prosecutors for trafficking narcotics out of his West Philadelphia abortion facility.

The federal drug raid eventually led to Gosnell’s murder trial. Investigators were horrified at the conditions they found inside the building during the raid and launched an investigation into his operation.

The five-week trial hinged on testimony from former Gosnell employees, four of whom pleaded guilty to murder for their roles in the babies’ deaths. The workers testified to seeing babies move, takes breaths, and cry after being born following late-term abortion procedures. Gosnell also was convicted of aborting babies well past Pennsylvania’s 24-week limit. Prosecutors allege one baby was at least 30 weeks when Gosnell sliced through the baby's neck.

Judge Jeffrey Minehart has offered jurors access to professional counselors to deal with the stress caused by the graphic testimony and evidence they had to see during the trial.

Leigh Jones
Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Atlanta and is the managing editor of WORLD's website.

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