Still no Gosnell verdict as jury ends second day of deliberations

posted at 7:21 pm on May 1, 2013 by Allahpundit

On the one hand, he’s facing 258 counts ranging from murder to racketeering. Patience. It’s going to take time.

On the other hand, per Life News, 227 of those counts are for failing to allow 24 hours before an abortion for the patient to reconsider. The jury will probably dispose of those as a group, which means the longer this goes on, the likelier it is that they’re hung up on the big charges.

It’s unfathomable to think they won’t get him for at least one murder. How many days of deliberations will it take, though, before panicky trial-watchers gulp and start trying to fathom it?

As local reporter J.D. Mullane reported this morning, the Gosnell jury asked for patient information related to one patient who testified that Gosnell broke that law.

Mullane indicated the jury had the judge review RICO, theft by deception, conspiracy and testimony from an FBI agent. He indicated the judge could have them work on Friday if necessary.

During the jury’s deliberations on Tuesday, the jury asked Judge Jeffrey Minehart for the definition of infanticide, making it appear it was taking it’s role serious in determining if the babies Gosnell killed were alive at the time of their deaths. The jury also sent Judge Minehart a question to “define theft by deception” in what appears to be its consideration of charges against Eileen O’Neill, one of Gosnell’s staffers who pretended to be a doctor who has asked the judge to be acquitted…

Testimony from the medical examiner and toxicologist indicated that there was no evidence the babies were injected with Digoxin to ensure the babies were dead prior to the abortion, as the defense has claimed. The medical examiner testified that tests were inconclusive as proof that the babies were born alive. However, the tests also did not prove the babies were dead prior to birth. Those inconclusive test results were overshadowed by the weight of testimony from witness after witness, who detailed how the babies were in fact living prior to being murdered through what one witness described as a “virtual beheading.”

Life News seems to be treating the jury’s request for a definition of “infanticide” as good news. I don’t know. Here’s the statute; note that “infanticide” is a separate charge from murder, providing only that the doctor’s guilty of a third-degree felony if he fails to give an infant who’s been born alive the sort of care he’d give an adult in a similar condition. If you kill the baby yourself, that’s murder; if you refuse to try to save it but don’t do anything actively to kill it, that’s presumably “infanticide.” What does it mean that the jury’s focused on a close reading of the latter? Could be that they’ve already agreed that he’s guilty of murder and are simply being diligent in considering the infanticide charges closely. But it could also mean that they’ve decided there’s not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he killed the babies after they left the womb. So now they’re trying to get him on a lesser included offense of homicidal neglect, i.e. infanticide, rather than murder. Gulp.

Here’s a hard question pro-lifers will end up wrestling with in the unlikely event that he walks on all murder charges. If the ultimate goal is to reduce abortion by convincing Americans that the practice is unconscionable, does Gosnell’s conviction or acquittal do more to serve that end? Obviously you want him convicted, purely as a matter of justice. If the witnesses against him are telling the truth, he’s one of the worst serial killers the country’s ever produced. But if he’s convicted, abortionists will shrug this off as proof that “the system worked” even though the system most assuredly does not work. Gosnell took referrals from “respectable” clinics; at least one abortion group knew what he was up to and said nothing, per the grand jury report; even now, it’s an article of faith among pro-choicers that regulations and government oversight of clinics should be fought tooth and nail. Planned Parenthood couldn’t bring itself to condemn a Gosnell-like infanticide scenario when one was presented to them at a legislative hearing in Florida a few weeks ago. When push comes to shove, the key difference between Gosnell and other late-term abortionists is that he was a bit worse at his job, allegedly failing to kill a viable infant in the womb such that he had to kill it by slicing its spine after it had moved 12 inches or so outside of its mother’s body. The system doesn’t work — he’s no aberration — but that’s how it’ll be spun if he’s convicted. If he’s acquitted, meanwhile, it’ll mean that we’ve reached the point where a guy whose entire business practice is devoted to killing babies, to the point where he kept infants’ severed feet in jars apparently as trophies, can’t be convicted of murder because we can’t quite tell if he killed it with a knife after it had left the womb or five minutes before with a needle when it was still inside. Tough to spin that one but they’ll try, rest assured. Hopefully we won’t have to find out.

By the way, in case you were wondering, more LiveAction videos are coming from Lila Rose. Patience on that too.


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