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Gosnell jury fails to reach verdict after 5th day deliberating

Dr. Kermit Gosnell could get the death penalty if convicted of murdering 4 babies.

THE JURY IN the Kermit Gosnell capital-murder trial ended a fifth day of deliberations yesterday without reaching a verdict.

The panel of seven women and five men will resume work this morning, Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart said.

Earlier yesterday, the jurors asked Minehart to re-read the definitions of the charges of first-degree murder, third-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and infanticide. They also asked for the definition of malice.

Minehart also asked the jurors whether any of them had seen a Fox News documentary about Gosnell that aired Friday and over the weekend.

No jurors said they had seen the program. Minehart - as he did throughout the six-week trial - reminded jurors not to read or watch news reports about the trial.

Gosnell attorney Jack McMahon slammed the documentary, "See No Evil - The Kermit Gosnell Case," as irresponsible journalism.

Gosnell, 72, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder for allegedly killing babies who were born alive during abortion procedures. If he's found guilty, a penalty hearing will be held, after which the jury will decide if he will be sentenced to death or to life in state prison without parole.

Gosnell is also charged with third-degree murder in the death of a 41-year-old patient; infanticide; 24 counts of performing late-term abortions; five counts of conspiracy; racketeering; and 227 counts of violating the 24-hour waiting period before performing abortions.

McMahon argued during the trial that Gosnell was not guilty of any first-degree murders because the babies were born dead as a result of the abortion process.

Today on Have questions about the Dr. Kermitt Gosnell case? Come to The Conversation blog to ask reporter Mensah M. Dean.