Abortion Doctor on Trial for Murdering Babies Does Not Take Stan

Abortion Doctor on Trial for Murdering Babies Does Not Take Stand

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CENTER CITY -


Were babies born alive at an abortion clinic in West Philadelphia, and then murdered by Dr. Kermit Gosnell?  That's the question jurors will have to decide-- without hearing from the doctor himself.  The defense rested Wednesday afternoon after deciding against putting Dr. Gosnell on the witness stand.  "We did not call any witnesses in this case, and we're going to close on Monday," Jack McMahon, Gosnell's lawyer, told reporters outside the courthouse.

"If you feel like you're already in a strong position as a defense attorney, you don't take any risks," Steve Volk, a reporter for Philadelphia Magazine, told Fox 29.  A day earlier, Gosnell won a partial victory after the judge dismissed three first-degree murder charges against him.  However, the judge re-instated one of those counts on Wednesday, while dismissing another. 

Volk says that was an important victory for the prosecution.  "It's important because there was a high level of evidence, one of the strongest cases the prosecution had presented was Baby C.  There was testimony from two eyewitnesses that was very graphic as to that baby having demonstrated evidence of being born alive."

But there's no physical evidence.  Last week, Philadelphia's medical examiner testified he couldn't say for certain whether any baby was born alive, making the jury's job more challenging.  "The jury I think will have to take a long hard look at whether or not the evidence meets the burden of proof on those remaining counts, and I think that'll be their job at this point," explained Fred Perry, a defense attorney not associated with the Gosnell case.

During an interview with Fox 29 anchor Thomas Drayton back in 2010, Gosnell insisted, "I expect to be vindicated, yes.  And, I feel that for many people it's important that I am able to practice again."

Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday, and the jury will begin deliberations after that.  If they convict Gosnell on a first-degree murder charge, he could face the death penalty.



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