As his trial opened today, Jack McMahon, defense lawyer for Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, claimed his client was the victim of “an elitist, racist prosecution.” He also accused the prosecutors of turning the trial into a “lynching.”
Gosnell is on trial for the murder of one adult woman and seven infants all of whom were born alive and then killed by severing their spinal cord with scissors. If convicted, Gosnell could face the death penalty.
Though he is only being charged with seven infant murders, grand jury testimony indicated this was Gosnell’s standard procedure for terminating late term pregnancies and had been taking place in his offices for years (pdf):
As a result of Gosnell’s regular practice of terminating
pregnancies beyond the 24-week legal limit, viable babies were often
born alive at his clinic. And when they were, he would kill them, by
severing their spines with scissors. He told his staff that this
barbaric conduct was standard medical practice. It was not. It was
Although no one could place an exact number on the instances,
Gosnell’s staff testified that killing large, late-term babies who had
been observed breathing and moving was a regular occurrence.
According to grand jury testimony, the killing of live babies was so routine that Gosnell’s employees joined in:
Cross testified that she saw [Lynda] Williams cut the
neck of the infant we have named Baby C, who had been moving and
breathing for approximately 20 minutes…When asked why Williams had killed the baby, Cross answered: Because
the baby, I guess, because the baby was moving and breathing. And she see Dr. Gosnell do it so many times, I guess she felt, you know, she can do it. It’s okay.
The number of unnamed victims of this systematic infanticide is almost certainly over 100 and possibly a multiple of that. Gosnell may well be (allegedly) the worst serial killer in U.S. history, far surpassing Gacy and Bundy and even the notorious Green River killer. But even if he’s just convicted of 8 murders he’s charged with, the race card isn’t going to be enough to spare Gosnell.