|Pa. Jury Cites Abortion Doc's 'Greed'|
|By KEVIN DOLAK (@kdolak) and RUSSELL GOLDMAN (@GoldmanRussell)||May 15, 2013, 12:30 PM|
Jurors who found Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell guilty of first-degree murder for killing three new born infants said today that his "greed" was a major element in their verdict.
The jurors spoke after Gosnell, 72, was sentenced to a third life sentence. They are to be served consecutively, ensuring that he will spend the rest of his life in prison.
The doctor was accused of routinely carrying out late term abortions, but was convicted of "snipping" the spinal cords of three babies who were born alive.
Jury foreman David Misko explained today outside the courthouse what made the jury decide on first degree murder.
"The premeditation of it," he said. "It was just business as usual with him, he snipped the necks no matter what happened, so it seems that was what it was the premeditation of the babies."
Juror Joseph Carroll emerged from the courthouse to explain the jury's deliberations.
"Most of us felt it came down to a greed factor. The services … it was like a machine. They came in, he gave them a service, and bam, the women were gone," Carroll said.
Juror Sarah Glinski said today that the hardest part of the trial was viewing the images of the lifeless new borns.
"Seeing those photos and just having to say to myself, 'This did happen to those kids. There were children that died at the hands of this man.' That was what was hard for me. To admit that that kind of evil exists in this world," she said.
Gosnell was handed two life sentences Tuesday after a deal was struck with prosecutors which spared him a potential death sentence. The third sentence was handed down today. Gosnell was also sentenced to 2.5 to 5 years in prison for the 2009 overdose death of a female patient.
He was cleared of the "snipping" death of a fourth infant.
The guilty verdicts against Gosnell came on Monday, the jury's 10th day of deliberations.
The Philadelphia clinic run by Gosnell has been described as a "pill mill" for drug addicts by day, and an "abortion mill" by night. When Gosnell aborted the fetus of a teen who was nearly 30 weeks pregnant, he allegedly joked the baby was so big it could "walk to the bus."
For two months, the jury heard often grisly testimony, including from members of Gosnell's staff. Eight staffers have pleaded guilty to several crimes. Prosecutors said none of the staff were licensed nurses or doctors.
Gosnell ran the Women's Medical Society in West Philadelphia for decades until February 2010, when FBI agents raided his clinic looking for evidence of prescription drug dealing.
Instead they found, as reported in a nearly 300 page grand jury report released in 2011, a filthy, decrepit "house of horrors."
Blood was on the floor, the clinic reeked of urine and bags of fetal remains were stacked in freezers. The clinic was shut down and Gosnell's medical license was suspended after the raid.
Despite repeated complaints to state officials over the years -- as well as 46 lawsuits filed against Gosnell -- investigators said in the report that state regulators had conducted five inspections since the clinic had opened in 1979.