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Juror on Kermit Gosnell: He just sat there 'smirking'

Jack McMahon, the attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell who was found guilty of first degree murder, criticized the media's "lynching" of his client, saying "Nobody ever gave him, in the media, a fair shake."

Jurors who convicted Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell of first-degree murder said Wednesday it was wrenching to sift through the gruesome evidence that he delivered three babies alive and then killed them.

“It was business as usual for him,” juror David Misko told reporters outside the courthouse where Gosnell was sentenced to a third life term as part of a deal that allowed him to avoid the death penalty.

The panel deliberated 10 days before finding Gosnell guilty of three counts of first-degree murder for snipping three babies’ spinal cords after botched late-term abortions, along with more than 200 lesser charges.

The three jurors who spoke Wednesday said photos of the babies were the most compelling, and sickening, evidence.

Juror Sarah Glinski said that because she does not have children, she was able to emotionally detach to some degree, but the photos forced her “to admit that this kind of evil exists in this world.

”Misko said it was also difficult to look at Gosnell, 72, in the courtroom.

“He just sat there for the past eight weeks, smirking,” he said.

Two of the jurors said they believed Gosnell had opened his clinic in the poor West Philadelphia neighborhood intending to help young women in dire straits, as the defense contended.

“I think somewhere, something went wrong perhaps in his mind that made him do these things to these children that were born alive,” said Glinksi.

Juror Joseph Carroll said he believed that over the years the clinic became an assembly-line operation.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell and his lawyer, John McMahon, before Judge Jeffrey Minehart, in Philadelphia, on May 15.

“He started out as a good practice doctor but eventually just became a money-generating machine,” Carroll said.

Carroll feels Gosnell wasn’t the only one to blame, saying women who had gone to the clinic knowing they were more than 24 weeks pregnant should have been charged, too.

“I really believed that they didn’t care,” he said. “They didn’t want a child and they found a service that was going to rectify that situation.

"Gosnell could have faced the death penalty for the babies’ deaths, but in a last-minute deal with prosecutors, he agreed to waive his right to appeal in exchange for life without parole on two of the first-degree murder counts.

On Wednesday, he was sentenced to a third life term for the third baby’s death, as well as the death of a 41-year-old patient who overdosed on anesthesia and dozens of other lesser charges.

His defense lawyer said he was convicted in the public’s mind before trial because of a grand jury report that described the clinic as a “house of horrors” splattered with blood, staffed by unlicensed workers and filled with broken-down equipment.

McMahon said Gosnell cut a deal with prosecutors to avoid putting his six children through a death penalty phase, not because he believes he committed a crime.

"Dr. Gosnell truly believes in himself and things he's done but at this point, the jury has spoken ... He's resigned and accepted his fate,” McMahon said.

McMahon said Gosnell knows he “bent the rules” by performing abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy, which is prohibited under Pennsylvania law, and admits to other mistakes.

“He recognizes he did things wrong," he said.

But his client, he said, is not a murderer."He believes what he did was not homicide. He believes he never killed a live baby," McMahon said.

"Dr. Gosnell is far from a monster and this was not a house of horrors."Gosnell still faces a federal trial in September on allegations he wrote fraudulent prescriptions for pain pills. McMahon said he "probably" will make a deal on those charges.