No one will ever associate the word surrender with the name Kermit Barron Gosnell.
What to do if you're 73 and serving three consecutive life sentences for killing infants born alive during illegal late-term abortions? Take your case to the U.S. Supreme Court, of course.
Not Gosnell's convictions for murder after a sensational 2013 trial in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court. After that verdict – staring at a possible death penalty – the former West Philadelphia abortionist quickly reached an agreement to waive his appeal rights and serve the rest of his life in prison if prosecutors did not press for a death sentence.
Instead, Gosnell appealed his federal case for operating a pill mill out of his Women's Medical Society clinic at 3801 Lancaster Ave. In this case also, Gosnell waived his appeal rights when he pleaded guilty before a federal judge in exchange for a 30-year-prison term to run concurrently with his three consecutive life terms and financial penalties totaling $250,000.
Gosnell argued that he could not have knowingly waived his federal appeal rights because the judge warned him at his guilty-plea hearing last year that if he lied, the judge could reject the plea agreement and Gosnell would "lose the benefits that you now have in your plea agreement."
But, Gosnell's court pleadings maintained, there were no benefits in the federal plea deal. After all, what difference does it make if a 30-year prison term is served concurrently or consecutively when you are already serving life?
Ergo, Gosnell's waiver of his rights was not knowingly made.
Ergo, no way, ruled the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in July, granting federal prosecutors' request to enforce Gosnell's decision to waive his appellate rights and dismissing the appeal.
Undeterred, Gosnell filed a petition on Oct. 6 asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider his plight.
On Nov. 10, the nation's highest court denied Gosnell's petition for review along with about 200 others.