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How deal was struck for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell to serve life sentence (+video)

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(Read caption) Dr. Kermit Gosnell avoids death penalty
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The Philadelphia abortion doctor convicted of first-degree murder has waived his right to appeal the verdict in exchange for prosecutors agreeing to drop the death penalty, the district attorney announced Tuesday.

On Monday, a jury found Kermit Gosnell guilty of first-degree murder in the deaths of three babies and also involuntary manslaughter in the overdose death of a woman seeking an abortion. At his west Philadelphia clinic, prosecutors say, he performed illegal, late-term abortions under unsanitary conditions.

Dr. Gosnell “agreed to waive all of his appellate rights in exchange for life in prison without the possibility of parole instead of the death penalty,” Philadelphia district attorney Seth Williams said in a statement Tuesday. Gosnell was formally sentenced for the deaths of two babies, and on Wednesday morning he appeared in court to be sentenced for the third baby’s death as well as remaining charges, including more than 200 counts of violating Pennsylvania’s abortion law.

Gosnell did not make remarks in court when the agreement was struck Tuesday, other than to assure Judge Jeffrey Minehart that he made the deal fairly and was “very satisfied” with his legal representation.

"Like any deal, there's a give-and-take on each side," said Jack McMahon, Gosnell’s defense attorney.

"A big factor for Dr. Gosnell was his family. They've been conspicuously absent, and that's been intentional because of the media focus and whatnot. He has some younger children in high school ... and bringing them all forward for a penalty phase is something that troubled him,” Mr. McMahon told NBC10 in Philadelphia


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