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Gosnell Waives Appeal Rights, Avoids Death Penalty

Gosnell Waives Appeal Rights, Avoids Death Penalty

May 15, 2013 — Illegal abortion provider Kermit Gosnell on Tuesday avoided the death penalty by agreeing to a life sentence in prison without parole, the New York Times reports (Gabriel, New York Times, 5/14).

On Monday, a Philadelphia jury found Gosnell guilty on three out of four counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of infants born alive after illegal abortion procedures. He also was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a patient and was convicted of hundreds of additional charges, including 21 counts of performing abortions past the state's gestational limit and 211 counts of violating the state's 24-hour waiting period before abortions (Women's Health Policy Report, 5/14).

In a statement, the Philadelphia district attorney's office said Gosnell waived his right to future appeals "in exchange for life in prison without the possibility of parole instead of the death penalty" (Loftus, Wall Street Journal, 5/14).

District Attorney Seth Williams said Gosnell was immediately sentenced to life in prison for two of the murder cases, known as Baby C and Baby D, and is expected to be sentenced for the remaining convictions on Wednesday (Warner, Reuters, 5/14).