In a Philadelphia courtroom Wednesday, Kermit Gosnell's attorney declined to call any witnesses. Gosnell is charged with murder in the deaths of infants during late-term abortion.
The sensational and sometimes grisly trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell reached an important point Wednesday when Dr. Gosnell’s defense team declined to call any witnesses – including the defendant himself.
Closing arguments in the trial, now in its sixth week, are scheduled to be heard next Monday, after which the controversial case goes to the jury.
Gosnell faces the death penalty if he is convicted in the deaths of four newborns. Prosecutors allege that the infants were born alive and viable during late-term abortions. Gosnell is also charged in the 2009 overdose death of a Nepalese refugee who overdosed on sedatives while awaiting an abortion.
Gosnell is also charged with racketeering, performing illegal abortions, and failing to counsel women 24 hours before a procedure.
Gosnell had been charged in the deaths of seven children, but on Tuesday Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart ruled that prosecutors over the past month failed to make a case on three of the seven first-degree murder counts, involving aborted babies known as Baby B, Baby C, and Baby G.
Former employees called by the prosecution testified that Gosnell relied on untrained, unlicensed staff to sedate and monitor women as they waited for abortions – many of them beyond the 24-week limit under Pennsylvania law. Three workers have pleaded guilty to third-degree murder charges, admitting they helped medicate the adult victim or had a hand in killing infants born alive.