Prosecutors yesterday filed paperwork that enables them to seek the death penalty against Kermit Gosnell, the abortion doctor charged with murder for the deaths of one woman and seven viable babies born alive in his West Philadelphia clinic.His attorney will claim that just because Gosnell is old that he shouldn't be subjected to the death penalty, and while the cost of a death penalty case is expensive for the state, the seriousness of the charges do merit such consideration. Moreover, the court could still rule that he gets life in prison rather than the death penalty should it deem it the more appropriate punishment if found guilty.
But three of Gosnell's staffers also accused of killing babies caught a break: Prosecutors filed for a 60-day extension to get more time to mull whether they'll seek executions for co-defendants Lynda Williams, Steven Massof and Adrienne Moton.
The extension suggests that they'll lean on the trio to get more evidence against Gosnell.
Prosecutors filed the notice of aggravating factors, noting that he's accused of multiple murders and that his alleged victims were younger than 12, Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore said.
Attorney Jack McMahon, who represents Gosnell, said that the death penalty "makes no sense."
Several of his employees are going to have to wait a while longer to find out if they too are going to be subject to criminal charges with a death penalty proviso.
Gosnell, who had claimed that he was impoverished, turns out to own multiple properties and is quite well off, including finding stashes of cash:
And when investigators in Philadelphia searched his massive, three-storey brick Philadelphia home they are alleged to have discovered $240,000 in cash and a gun in a filing cabinet in his 12-year-old daughter's bedroom.Gosnell continues to claim that he did nothing wrong and that he was merely providing critical health services to an underserved community.
This month’s grand jury report revealed that Gosnell earned $1.8 million a year from his illegal operations.
The case highlights multiple failures at the state and local level to investigate and regulate abortion providers and to take steps to end Gosnell's career years earlier before he could have turned his offices into a house of horrors. One can only hope that the state of Pennsylvania takes action to improve the regulation of these clinics, improve oversight, and to improve the methods by which complaints can be investigated so that someone like Gosnell can't continue to act with impunity for years on end. After all, Gosnell's practice was shut down not after complaints about his illegal abortions, malpractice, and murder, but because the prosecutors executed warrants relating to Gosnell operating a pill-mill. It was in the course of carrying out that warrant that the investigators and prosecutors determined that Gosnell was operating outside the bounds of law and decency.
Then, there's the issue that Gosnell worked not only in Pennsylvania, but in Delaware. Several of his associates at an office in Delaware have been suspended by the Delaware authorities due to ongoing investigations into Gosnell's activities in that state.