The Common Pleas Court jury of seven women and five men have finished their deliberations for the week in the murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell.
They will return on Monday, but not before having apparently moved on from considering charges against Gosnell’s co-defendant (according to multiple news sources including the Philadelphia Inquirer and CNN) and on to the 72-year-old abortionist charged with five counts of murder.
Eileen O’Neill, 56, is charged with six counts of theft by deception (she is accused of posing as a licensed doctor) that form the basis of racketeering and conspiracy counts for her alleged role in a “corrupt organization.” The jury, CNN reported
“asked to be given the written definition of RICO charges, and a property receipt for the medications removed from the clinic and put into evidence. RICO charges extend from the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
“After consulting with attorneys, Judge Jeffrey Minehart answered the jury in the deliberation room. Gosnell and his co-defendant, Eileen O’Neill, 56, were not in the courtroom.”
However the most important request of the day was clearly for records compiled the day Gosnell’s abortion clinic was raided, February 18, 2010. According to the Inquirer’s Joseph A. Slobodzian, they asked for the police property receipt for all medicines and drugs removed from the Women’s Medical Society. Why is that significant?
It is of critical importance in the context of another request—“identifying details to help them differentiate the four babies – known thus far as babies A, C, D and E – allegedly killed by Gosnell or his staff after they were born live during illegal late-term abortions.”
Jack McMahon, Gosnell’s flamboyant defense attorney, has stated flatly that no babies were born alive—that every movement, twitch, even scream witnesses testified to were simply “reflexes.” They weren’t born alive, McMahon argued, because Gosnell administered the drug Digoxin that would have killed the babies in utero.
But (a) police found no evidence of Digoxin when they searched the abortion clinic, and (b) according to prosecutors, “Gosnell had stopped using the drug to save money,” Slobodzian explained. “Instead, prosecutors allege, Gosnell gave patients heavy doses of the labor-inducing drug Cytotec so they would spontaneously abort. If the fetus was alive, Gosnell allegedly would then cut the spine to kill it.”
CNN summarized the bundle of charges lodged against Gosnell who, prosecutors say, made millions off of illegal late-term abortions:
“The [four] babies Gosnell is accused of killing include one that a former employee testified whined after it was expelled from its mother; one that a former employee testified was a large baby boy that breathed before having its neck snipped and was placed into a plastic box the size of a shoebox; one whose neck was snipped after an employee played with the baby; and one that was delivered into a toilet and appeared to be swimming before being scooped up and having its neck snipped.”
In addition, “Gosnell also is charged with conspiracy, abortion at 24 or more weeks of pregnancy, theft, corruption of minors, solicitation and other related offenses. He and O’Neill have pleaded not guilty.”
Gosnell also stands accused of one count of third degree murder in the 2009 death of Karnamaya Mongar, who was 41. Prosecutors say Gosnell’s untrained, unlicensed assistants administered an overdose of Demerol, a powerful painkiller.
Last week, without explanation, Judge Minehart threw out three of the seven first-degree murder counts, one count of infanticide, and all five abuse-of-corpse charges which were about the fetal body parts authorities found when they raided Gosnell’s abortion clinic, ironically not because of abortion but because they believed he was running an illegal “pill mill.”
In his testimony, Philadelphia Chief Medical Examiner Sam Gulino told the jury about an “unprecedented” task. According to the Slobodzian, that task was “Examining bag after bag of frozen fetuses removed from Kermit Gosnell’s West Philadelphia abortion clinic.” Without guidance what to do, Gulino said