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Gosnell receives third and final life sentence

Gosnell declined to speak, but jurors and Seth Williams had plenty to say.

AS THE CASE AGAINST convicted baby murderer Kermit Gosnell concluded yesterday with a third and final life-without-parole prison sentence, the doctor declined to speak - but others said plenty.

A "murderer and a monster" is how District Attorney Seth Williams described Gosnell, 72, who was convicted Monday of murdering three babies born alive during abortion procedures at his West Philadelphia clinic.

"He just sat there for the past eight weeks smirking," said jury foreman David Misko, 27. "The guy is fighting for his life, and he just sits back and smirks."

"I think somewhere, something went wrong in his mind, perhaps, that made him do these things to these children that were born alive," said juror Sarah Glinski, 23.

Juror Joseph Carroll, 46, said: "Most of us felt that the doctor, he probably started out good helping the community, but eventually most of us felt it came down to a greed factor. It was just like a machine."

Gosnell's defense attorney, Jack McMahon, said his client had no remorse, because he still does not believe he killed babies.

McMahon said the D.A.'s office and the media wrongly painted Gosnell as a monster, when he is actually a caring doctor who helped thousands of poor women over the decades and who decided to waive his appellate rights and accept three life sentences to spare his family more grief.

"Dr. Gosnell is far from a monster; this is not a house of horrors," McMahon told reporters. "To call him a monster may be convenient for the press, but it's not accurate."

Gosnell, in a wrinkled black suit that he wore during much of his trial, smiled and said, "Not at this time," when Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart asked if he wanted to speak during yesterday's sentencing hearing.

Gosnell was sentenced to life without parole for the first-degree murder of Baby A and to a 2 1/2- to five-year consecutive prison sentence for the involuntary-manslaughter death of abortion patient Karnamaya Mongar, 41. Minehart imposed no further penalty on most of the 200-plus other counts of which Gosnell was convicted.

Minehart already had sentenced Gosnell on Tuesday to two consecutive life-without-parole sentences for the murders of Babies C and D. All three babies' spinal cords were cut with scissors.

Gosnell's May 21 penalty-phase hearing - during which prosecutors Edward Cameron and Joanne Pescatore would have asked the jury to return a death sentence - was scrapped when Williams accepted an offer to forgo pursuing the death penalty if Gosnell would give up all appellate rights, the D.A. said.

"After a review of various issues, of possible appellate issues, I decided we would grant him mercy where he failed to show mercy to his victims," Williams said. Minehart agreed to the deal, which was the same one offered to Gosnell before the trial, said Williams, who noted Gosnell's appeals could have dragged on for years.