Kermit Gosnell, Philadelphia abortion doctor, spared death sentence


Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, was found guilty Monday of first-degree murder in the deaths of three babies who were delivered alive and killed with scissors. Gosnell was also convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a female patient who died after receiving a dose of sedatives and pain killers in a 2009 abortion. He was acquitted in the death of a fourth baby.

Prosecutors have agreed to two life sentences without parole for the lives of two babies. Gosnell is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday in the death of the third baby, the involuntary manslaughter conviction and hundreds of lesser counts.

The D.A.'s office had sought the death penalty, but given Gosnell's advanced age, it was unlikely he would ever be executed before his appeals ran out.

Former clinic employees testified that Gosnell routinely performed illegal late-term abortions past Pennsylvania's 24-week limit, that he delivered babies who were still moving, whimpering or breathing, and that he and his assistants "snipped" the newborns' spines, as he referred to it.

Prosecutors said none of the staff were licensed nurses or doctors.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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