The judge in the Kermit Gosnell murder trial admitted today he made an error when dropping one of the charges against the abortion practitioner.
Common pleas court Judge Jeffrey Minehart admitted he “erred” when dropping the murder charge for Baby C, who was killed in an abortion-infanticide when he was a victim of an attempted abortion but was born alive and tossed in a shoe box, with Gosnell staffers confirming they saw him breathing for 20 minutes.
Gosnell faces eight total murder counts — one for killing a woman in a botched abortion and seven for killing babies in abortion-infanticides that involved live-birth abortions and snipping their necks after birth. The judge received heavy criticism yesterday for dropping three of the murder charges.
Gosnell’s defense attorney asked the judge to drop three of the charges for killing the babies and the judge agreed with the contention there was not enough evidence to convict Gosnell on those charges. Another charge of infanticide was also dropped. He still faces the other charges the prosecution has brought and the murder trial will continue on them.
One of the three charges the judge dropped includes a 28-week unborn baby who was killed in an abortion-infanticide and eventually discovered in a freezer at Gosnell’s clinic. Another involved “Baby B,” about whom a Gosnell staffer testified was a newborn child who survived a failed abortion and was still breathing into a shoe box.
The third murder charge thrown out was for “Baby G,” who was the subject of testimony of a former Gosnell staff who, in the grand jury report, said he saw alive. Steven Massoff said he saw exhibit “a respiratory excursion,” meaning a breath.
The reinstated charge involves Baby C — about whom a Gosnell staffer testified was a newborn child who survived a failed abortion and was still breathing into a shoe box.
During this morning’s trial hearing, Judge Minehart also dismissed murder charges regarding”Baby F,” who was seen by Gosnell staffers making a single leg movement after birth and before Gosnell employees snipped the infant’s neck.
Kareema Cross told the jury she saw at least 10 children who were breathing after botched abortions but killed afterwards. What happened shocked her so badly she took photographs to document what happened. Cross took pictures to document filth in the abortion clinic and a picture of a huge baby boy tossed in shoe box breathing, moving, and too big for the box. Cross testified of large babies birthed, moving, and moaning some for 20 min before their necks were snipped.
Gosnell gave the unborn children digoxin not to kill baby but slow heart, Cross said. Gosnell’s attorney claims the drug killed the unborn children before birth and before he snipped their necks.
But one pro-life advocate who has been following the trial closely says the charge should not have been dismissed.
“I am shocked that these counts have been dismissed. I have heard testimony by very credible witnesses to the effect that these babies were murdered in cold blood by Gosnell as they cried and struggled for life. We pray that justice will be done in the remaining five victims of Gosnell’s horrific slayings,” said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue, who has observed the trial and published first-hand accounts of the proceedings.
Sullenger said testimony from the medical examiner and toxicologist has indicated that there was no evidence the babies were injected with Digoxin to ensure the babies were dead prior to the abortion, as the defense has claimed.
The medical examiner testified that tests were inconclusive as proof that the babies were born alive. However, the tests also did not prove the babies were dead prior to birth. Those inconclusive test results were overshadowed by the weight of testimony from witness after witness, who detailed how the babies were in fact living prior to being murdered through what one witness described as a “virtual beheading.”
“If Gosnell gets off scot-free, that will send a message that murdering live babies and abortion patients is now acceptable behavior in America and that abortionists who engage in such depraved practices are above the law. This would put women and babies in grave danger – more than they already face – at abortion clinics throughout the nation,” said Sullenger.
From the testimony Cross gave during the trial:
In the final day of the prosecution of former abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, a former staffer testified that she saw at least 10 babies breathing, which were delivered at Gosnell’s West Philadelphia clinic, before Gosnell or another staffer ended their lives by cutting their spinal cord with scissors.
Kareema Cross told a jury that she was so unnerved by this and other things she saw at Gosnell’s West Philadelphia clinic between 2005 and 2009 that she took pictures to document the filthy conditions.
Cross, under questioning from Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore, told the jury she saw at least 10 to 25 instances where babies – delivered by abortion patients after receiving labor-inducing drugs – were breathing and vividly recalled a few instances where she saw movement.
In another instance, Cross recalled when Lynda Williams, a Gosnell staffer who lived in Delaware, had a child that had been delivered by a patient and saw it breathe. “The chest was going up and down” she said.
“Lynda pulled its hand and the baby pulled the arm back,” she said, adding a short time later Williams flipped the child over and “snipped” the spinal cord with a pair of scissors.
Williams, in her testimony earlier this month, testified only that she saw the baby’s arm “jump” when she cut the spinal cord.
On a different occasion, Cross said she heard a baby cry out. She said a co-worker who heard it first came to get her and she listened at the door, where the baby’s body was, and heard “mmm…. A whine, a soft whine, once.”
During the trial Gosnell’s defense lawyer, Jack McMahon, claims none of the babies were born alive who Gosnell killed in abortion-infanticide procedures but were dead before birth due to a lethal drug injection and that Gosnell and his staff “snipped” their necks after “birth.” McMahon claims no babies were ever killed in the gruesome abortion process, which involved “snipping” the spinal cords of the children by jabbing medical scissors into the backs of their necks, because the babies were supposedly already dead.
That’s not what two staffers for Gosnell admitted in court — with one saying she heard a baby scream and another saying the baby “jumped” when the newborn was stabbed in the neck with the scissors.
McMahon is attempting to get the jury to buy a story that Gosnell used a drug called Digoxin to kill the baby in utero and then to deliver a dead child. He claims Gosnell just wanted to “snip” the spinal cords to ensure the baby was dead already. The Gosnell staffer admitted that’s what the abortion practitioner told her he was doing.
Although the defense attorney claimed the babies were dead and that jabbing them in the neck with scissors was needed to make sure that was the case, Gosnell staffers also told the court one at least two occasions that the babies were not dead when their necks were stabbed.