Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Joseph A. Slobodzian, who has diligently followed the saga of West Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, reported Friday that Gosnell “was brought to court Thursday to meet with his lawyer, wife, and two children to weigh an apparent plea offer.” Gosnell, charged with eight counts of murder, has been held without bail since January 2011.
Slobodzian reported that such a plea bargain (if, in fact, one was on the table) is not unusual in such a case. One part of the story that has not been discussed a lot is that if a jury finds a defendant guilty of first degree murder, a death sentence is possible.
Gosnell is charged with first degree murder in the cases of seven “late-term” babies he is said to have deliberately aborted alive and then severed their spinal cords with surgical scissors; and third-degree murder in the case of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar, who died after “repeated injections of strong narcotics, administered in accordance with Gosnell’s standard procedures,” according to a Grand Jury report.
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The 72-year-old Gosnell never actually appeared in court; he was in a prisoner interview booth. “There he spent about two hours as defense attorney Jack McMahon shuttled between the booth and Assistant District Attorneys Edward Cameron and Joanne Pescatore in a nearby waiting room,” according to Slobodzian. Since Cameron, Pescatore, and McMahon declined to comment (citing gag order), “It could not be determined if Gosnell had rejected a plea offer.”
Over the past two years, nine Gosnell employees at his Women’s Medical Society Clinic were charged either with involvement in illegal abortions or being involved in a “corrupt organization.” All but one pled guilty and what is assumed to be part of their plea bargains, some will testify against Gosnell.
“The only one who will stand trial with Gosnell is Eileen O’Neill, 56, of Phoenixville, a medical school graduate accused of working as a doctor in his clinic though she never obtained a medical license,” Slobodzian reported.
LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. He writes National Right to Life News Today — an online opinion column on pro-life issues.