The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

State, national, world

May 14, 2013

Both sides condemn convicted Pa. abortion doctor

PHILADELPHIA — Dr. Kermit Gosnell considered himself a pioneering inner-city doctor who helped desperate women get late-term abortions, but a Philadelphia jury called him a murderer who killed three babies after they were born alive.

Gosnell, 72, was convicted Monday of three counts of first-degree murder but acquitted of murdering a fourth aborted baby. He was also found guilty of manslaughter, not third-degree murder, in a patient's 2009 overdose death.

The same jury that returned that measured verdict after 10 days behind closed doors is set to return next week to decide if Gosnell deserves the death penalty.

Prosecutors want to send Gosnell to death row because he killed more than one person, and his victims were especially vulnerable given their age. But Gosnell's advanced age makes it unlikely he would ever be executed before his appeals ran out. Prosecutors might offer a life sentence if he agrees to give up those appeals.

Defense lawyer Jack McMahon called such negotiations commonplace, but declined to discuss whether they were likely in this case.

"The media has been overwhelmingly against him," McMahon said, calling Gosnell's case an uphill battle. "But I think the jury listened to the evidence ... and they found what they found. ... Five murder counts were not guilty, and so they obviously took their job seriously."

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, whose office undertook a grand jury investigation after the FBI stumbled upon the rogue abortion practices during a 2010 drug raid, declined comment until the sentencing phase concludes. That hearing is set to start May 21.

But partisans on both sides of the nation's polarized abortion debate were quick to weigh in after the verdict.

"This has helped more people realize what abortion is really about," said David O'Steen, executive director of the National Right to Life Committee. He said he hopes the case results in more states passing bills that prohibit abortion "once the unborn child can feel pain."

Text Only
State, national, world
  • Diamondback.jpg Watonga prison lays off nearly 100 employees

    The Diamondback Correctional Facility has been vacant since 2010, when the state of Arizona opted not to renew its contract with the prison.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Nepal Everest Avalanc_Hass(1).jpg Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12

    The Sherpa guides had gone early in the morning to fix ropes for other climbers when the avalanche hit them at about 6:30 a.m., Nepal Tourism Ministry official Krishna Lamsal said from the base camp where he is monitoring rescue efforts.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sinking ferry web.jpg Transcript shows ferry captain delayed evacuation

    The confirmed death toll from Wednesday’s sinking off southern South Korea was 26, most of bodies found floating in the ocean, the coast guard said. But 48 hours after the sinking the number of deaths was expected to rise sharply with about 270 people missing, many of them high school students on a class trip. Officials said there were 179 survivors.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Obama mug web.jpg Obama: Defending health law good for some Democrats

    For their part, Republicans practically dare Democrats to embrace “Obamacare,” the GOP’s favorite target in most congressional campaigns.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Obama Ukraine web.jpg Obama shows skepticism on Russia in Ukraine

    Obama did not say what additional sanctions might be in the offing if commitments made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva do not materialize.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gay Marriage Oklahoma web.jpg Circuit judge in gay marriage case asks pointed questions

    The two cases are the first to reach an appellate court since the U.S. Supreme Court last year struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scott Inman web.jpg Oklahoma House Democratic leader Scott Inman: No time for tax cut

    Inman made the comments a little more than two weeks after as many as 25,000 teachers, administrators and students rallied March 31 at the Capitol to urge lawmakers to restore $200 million in public education funding that has been lost in recent years due to budget cuts.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Minimum wage web.jpg Some workers are excluded from minimum wage, increased or not

    The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics says nearly 1.8 million hourly workers were paid below $7.25 last year — about 2 percent of the 76 million Americans earning hourly wages. An additional 1.5 million earned exactly $7.25.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boston Marathon web.jpg Boston Marathon organizers confident of safe race on Monday

    Security plans include thousands of uniformed police, hundreds of plainclothes officers and about 100 strategically positioned video cameras that will monitor the crowds. Police also strongly discouraged spectators from bringing backpacks.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Airlines helpful fuel web.jpg Why high oil prices actually are good for airlines

    These changes, along with high oil prices, have created an insurmountable roadblock to startup airlines that hope to undercut established carriers.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads