April 23, 2013

A few questions for Kermit Gosnell; Update: Some charges dropped

According to @jdmullane, the Kermit Gosnell infanticide-plus trial will resume today. It's day one for the defense. I'm tempted to say "good luck with that," but I don't believe an appropriate punishment or even a conviction on the infanticide charges is a foregone conclusion, in spite of the abundance of damning testimony against him.

We don't know whether Gosnell will testify or not, but if he does, we'd like answers to the following:

Why did you chop off and preserve baby hands and feet and display them in jars?

Why did you routinely suction out the brains and crush the skulls of babies after they were fully delivered?

Also this:

Add your own questions in the comments.

Meanwhile, in the Chicago Tribune, Dennis Byrne examines Illinois' abysmal oversight of abortion clinics. We don't know how many infants are born alive and then killed or left to die without medical help, because no one keeps records. And yes, women die, too. 
Even Illinois, by law, doesn't keep records of infants born alive during an abortion, an Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman said in an email. Amazingly, Illinois abortion clinics hadn't been inspected for up to 15 years before the Gosnell case broke, an Associated Press investigation found.

Finally, the state health department acted. Of the state's nine "pregnancy termination special centers" (they only do surgical abortions before 18 weeks of gestation), the department ordered two temporarily closed for violations that seriously "threaten the public interest, health, safety and welfare." Some supervisory, sanitation and other violations sound eerily similar to Gosnell's. Worse, the Women's Aid Clinic of Lincolnwood failed to perform required post-surgical CPR on a dying patient.

In a fog of excuses for their failures, that clinic and the Northern Illinois Women's Center in Rockford surrendered their licenses last year. That's two out of nine clinics with serious health and safety problems — 22 percent of the state's pregnancy termination centers. Hardly isolated incidents.

Then there is last year's Tonya Reaves case; she allegedly bled for more than five hours from a uterine perforation in a Planned Parenthood office in Chicago before paramedics were called, too late to save her.

Astonishingly, the state health department doesn't regulate Planned Parenthood — the nation's largest abortion provider. Under Illinois law, they are defined as doctor's offices that are regulated by the Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulation. In an attempt to discover precisely what happened to Reaves, the Pro-Life Action League and the Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based public interest law firm, filed a complaint Feb. 7 demanding an immediate investigation of whether substandard practices led to Reaves' death. And how is that going? The complaint seems to have disappeared down a bureaucratic black hole.
My emphasis. Byrne's conclusion applies to more than just Illinois:
Today, who can confidently say exactly how carefully abortion clinics are regulated and inspected? Where are the independent audits, newspaper investigations, legislative hearings and proposals to strengthen those regulations? The abortion industry remains one of Illinois' most powerful lobbies, frustrating any attempt to further protect women and infants from exploitation of the likes of Gosnell and who knows who else? Whether from apathy or outright hostility against pro-life advocates, we've placed too much trust in abortionists and their friends to regulate themselves. 
Update: Some of the charges have been dropped.

Note that the medical examiner couldn't say whether any of the babies had been born alive before Gosnell "ensured their demise" by severing their spinal cords, suctioning out their brains, etc. I assume that was because of the degraded condition of the corpses after Gosnell stored them at various temperatures, in various containers (including leaking bags in a rat-infested basement). Those charges are based on multiple witnesses testifying they saw and heard babies breathing, moving, and crying. But the medical examiner's testimony wasn't conclusive. So it's not an enormous surprise that the judge has chosen to drop some of the charges as the defense of Gosnell begins.

From reporter JD Mullane:

Steve Ertelt:
The judge in the trial of abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell has acquitted him of three of the eight murder charges the abortion business owner faces in his murder trial.

Gosnell faces eight total murder counts — one or killing a woman in a botched abortion and seven for killing babies in abortion-infanticides that involved live-birth abortions and snipping their necks after birth.

Gosnell’s defense attorney asked the judge to drop three of the charges for killing the babies and the judge agreed with the contention there was not enough evidence to convict Gosnell on those charges. He still faces the other charges the prosecution has brought and the murder trial will continue on them.

The judge also dropped five counts of corpse abuse at the request of his defense attorney Jack McMahon. 
If anyone ever abused a corpse it was Kermit Gosnell. Why was this charge dropped? I'm getting a very bad feeling about this.

I'll try to update again as the details become clearer.

Gosnell is still charged with the murders of four babies and one adult.

I've been using both "dropped" and "acquitted," both of which I'm seeing in the media. Still not sure which is correct.


That was "Baby C," the one Lynda Williams allegedly played with before slitting his or her neck. I tweeted this a while back:

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  1. Ugh, this is just sickening. Is this a jury trial or is it going to be decided by this judge? From everything I have heard Gosnell's attorney is really good. He may be able to poke enough holes in this atrocity to get Gosnell off with a slap on the wrist. I hope there is at least one murder charge that is irrefutable.

  2. I seriously have to wonder how the judge has been threatened, and how much he's been promised to get Gosnell off or at least lessen the charges. It's not like it hasn't happened before: http://linnapaw.livejournal.com/430046.html

    Call me a cynic, but I'm from Chicago, so you can never count out the "Chicago Way"!

  3. I foresee no major punishment for this monster. "Bureaucratic black hole" indeed. Not going to touch THAT phrase with a barge pole.


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