UPDATE: Fox News is reporting three guilty verdicts for first degree murder against Kermit Gosnell. This should mean that he is eligible for the death penalty. Otherwise, life in prison. At 72, he doesn’t have many years left — and would probably reach a quicker end if released into the general population than if given the death penalty. Let’s save the taxpayers the money on the death penalty appeals and just put in him prison…but not in solitary/protective custody.
Fox reports that Gosnell looked surprised and “completely bewildered” when he heard the guilty verdicts.
Penalty phase probably begins next week.
Multiple news outlets are reporting that a verdict (or rather series of verdicts) seem to have been reached by the jury in the trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell.
I have not written about the evil Gosnell on these pages, but I’d like to take a moment to share a thought or two:
First, my perspective: I am pro-choice, but against Roe v Wade. I do not believe this issue has any place within federal authority — even if abortion is murder, which is a question for theology rather than politics.
Second, I could live with restrictions on late-term abortions, though I recognize that the definition of late-term will vary widely, and will change over time as medical science and technology improves.
My take on Gosnell is this: He is a monster and a murderer deserving of the death penalty.
Being pro-choice is, for me, a function of liberty, not an expression of liking abortion conceptually.
Many pro-choice forces in this country (like many atheists) take their views much too far, refusing to be bound by common sense or basic morality. Saying to some pro-choice people that an abortion at 35 weeks does seem quite a bit like murder engenders a reaction much like saying to a Taliban member that Mohammed’s personal life might have gotten him arrested for pedophilia if he lived in the modern world.
Thus, it was not too surprising that so many pro-choice people refused to criticize then-Senator Barack Obama who voted against a bill in the Illinois Senate which would have required that medical attention be given to babies born alive following botched abortions. Again, I say this as a pro-choice person, Obama’s view is tantamount to sanctioning murder.
The Gosnell trial will bring tremendous political heat to former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge and dozens of other high-ranking officials in that state’s government and health department, in part because they made an explicit decision not to inspect Gosnell’s clinic and others like it.
It will also put a horrific spotlight on abortion more generally — or it would if the “mainstream” media would cover the story, which — given their lack of interest so far — seems unlikely.
I expect that within a few minutes when we hear the verdict(s), we will learn that a jury has convicted Gosnell of at least one count of murder. He could receive the death penalty if convicted of first degree murder, though given the dynamics of juries it would not surprise me if he is convicted of a slightly lesser charge.
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