"Abortion doc set for last court hearing amid deal," is the AP report by Maryclaire Dale, via the San Francisco Chronicle.
A Philadelphia abortion doctor convicted of killing three babies born alive at his clinic will be formally sentenced in the death of one of the babies Wednesday, along with the overdose death of a patient and hundreds of abortion law violations.
Dr. Kermit Gosnell has decided not to appeal the first-degree murder conviction handed down Monday for killing three babies. Instead, the 72-year-old physician will accept several terms of life without parole and avoid a potential death sentence.
Gosnell assured a judge Tuesday that he was making the deal freely, and was then sentenced in the deaths of the first two babies. He offered the same odd, bemused smile that has become his trademark in court.
The Philadelphia Inquirer report is, "Gosnell won't appeal; gets life, not death," by Joseph A. Slobodzian.
Cordial, smiling - and acknowledging he will never get out of prison - West Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell on Tuesday agreed to waive his appeal rights to escape the chance of death by lethal injection.
Gosnell, 72, dressed in a mustard-yellow prison jumpsuit, entered the courtroom shortly before 4 p.m., the same courtroom where a day earlier he was found guilty by a Common Pleas Court jury of murdering three babies born alive during illegal late-term abortions.
Gosnell did not speak about his decision except to answer the judge's questions about understanding what he was doing.
"Are you satisfied with your attorney's representation?" Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart asked. Gosnell turned to face defense attorney Jack McMahon, smiled broadly, and replied, "I am very satisfied with your representation."
Assistant District Attorney Edward Cameron then called out asking if Gosnell were taking psychiatric medication or under treatment for mental illness, adding, "No offense."
"No offense taken," Gosnell replied. "No, I'm not."
Minehart immediately sentenced Gosnell to two consecutive life prison terms without parole on two of the first-degree murder counts.
"Doctor Avoids Death Penalty in Murders at His Clinic," by Trip Gabriel for the New York Times.
Prosecutors had said from the start of the trial that they would seek the death penalty because of the “aggravated” circumstances of the crimes Dr. Gosnell was charged with: murder of more than one person and the young age of the victims.
But the district attorney’s willingness to compromise on a life-without-parole sentence seemed a calculation about the difficulty of persuading the same 12 jurors to agree on capital punishment after they spent 10 days sifting evidence and acquitted Dr. Gosnell on one first-degree murder charge. Before deliberations began, the judge dismissed charges in three other pregnancy terminations.
The trial included graphic testimony that galvanized debate over abortion far beyond the downtown Philadelphia courthouse.
"Deal spares abortion doctor death penalty," by Brady Dennis and Sandhya Somashekhar in the Washington Post.
Gosnell had been expected to undergo a post-trial “penalty phase” next week, in which a jury would weigh whether to impose the death penalty or life in prison. Gosnell’s attorney, Jack McMahon, said in an interview Tuesday that such a proceeding probably would have involved having Gosnell’s wife and children testifying on his behalf and that the 72-year-old doctor did not want to subject them to public scrutiny.
“He just didn’t want to do that. They’ve gone through a lot,” McMahon said. “That was the motivating factor here.”