Kermit Gosnell was the gruesome abortion practitioner who was convicted on multiple counts of first-degree murder of killing babies who were born alive after abortion.
When Gosnell’s misdeeds first came to light, the DEA was already probing Gosnell for allegedly illegally selling prescription drugs. They called his abortion facility a “pill mill” by day and an “abortion mill” by night.
After Gosnell was convicted of murder, the next step for him was to potentially stand trial in federal court on drug charges related to his distribution of illegal prescription drugs that ended up being sold on the streets of Philadelphia. Gosnell pleaded guilty in July after the murder trial to charges that he illegally distributed OxyContin and other painkillers.
Prosecutors say he allowed addicts and dealers to fill prescriptions that were often sold or traded on the street but the abortion practitioner claimed he was only trying to help addicts through his novel treatment program.
Last December, Gosnell was sentenced to 30 additional years in prison for his crimes.
Using convoluted reasoning, Gosnell eventually appealed that decision and his case went to the Supreme Court. Without comment, the nation’s highest court rejected the case and let the ruling and conviction stand.
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From a news report on what happened:
In January, the 73-year-old prisoner filed an appeal of his guilty plea and sentence on federal charges that he was selling prescriptions for dangerous narcotics, what authorities call a “pill mill.” Appealing his convictions in Common Pleas Court for murdering infants born alive during illegal late-term abortions was not an option.
After that state-court verdict, Gosnell quickly agreed to waive his appeal rights and serve the rest of his life in prison — if prosecutors did not press for a death sentence.
Instead, Gosnell decided to appeal his federal case, even though he’d also waived his federal appeal rights when he pleaded guilty before a judge in exchange for having his 30-year-prison term run concurrently with his three consecutive life terms.
Gosnell argued that he could not have knowingly agreed to waive his federal appeal rights because the judge had warned him that if he lied, the judge could reject the plea agreement, and Gosnell would “lose the benefits that you now have in your plea agreement.”
But, Gosnell’s court pleadings maintained, there were really no benefits in his federal deal — what did a 30-year term mean when he was already serving three life terms?
As novel as prosecutors found Gosnell’s strategy, his hopes proved short-lived.
In July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit granted federal prosecutors’ request to enforce Gosnell’s decision to waive his appellate rights.
Undeterred, Gosnell filed a petition on Oct. 6 asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider his appeal, which was rejected Nov. 10.